The UAE celebrates various festivals and events as part of its religious calendar and this is a guide to just a few key holidays;
Christian New Year
The Christian New Year festival is celebrated on January 1st each year. Most of the holidays in the United Arab Emirates are rooted in Islamic culture. The United Arab Emirates has strong ties to the Arab world and to Islam. The government of the United Arab Emirates is committed to continuing the traditional forms of art and culture. Most of the cultural promotions are through the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation.
The celebration of the Christian New Year on the first of January is an exception to the mainstream traditional Islamic culture. The New Year is the celebration that is seen in other countries that have a more western and Christian foundation. This day is celebrated because of the significant number of foreign dignitaries and foreign workers who live in the UAE.
Islamic New Year
The Islamic New Year or the Hijri New Year is the day that begins a new Islamic calendar year. This is the day on which the year count is begun and incremented. The first day of the Islamic calendar year is observed in the first day of Muharram, and this is the first month in the Islamic calendar. The first Islamic year began in 610 AD during the emigration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina. This emigration is known as the Hijra. The Islamic year is eleven to twelve days shorter that the Gregorian calendar year. The first day of the Islamic calendar is not the same day as the first day of the Gregorian calendar.
Ascension To The Throne Of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan
Accession day is a Muslim holiday celebrated in the United Arab Emirates on August 6 of each year. The sheikh is currently the president of the UAE government. The governmental powers are shared with the vice president and the prime minister. The legislature is a federal national council. Sovereignty was continued with the United Kingdom until December 1, 1971. Treaties were signed at this time that ended the United Kingdom’s governmental control of this area now known as the United Arab Emirates. A federal monarchy was begun in 1971, and the country’s political system was transformed into several intricately connected governing bodies.
Muhammad’s Night Journey
This is a national holiday that is celebrated in the UAE. Islamic tradition indicates that the Islamic prophet Muhammad travelled during a single night, around the year 621. This journey was both a physical journey and a spiritual journey. There is a brief sketch of this story in the Quran and there are other details about the life of Muhammad and other writings. Muhammad travels to Buraq to a mosque where he leads other prophets in study and prayer. He ascends into heaven where he speaks to God, and God gives Muhammad instructions to take back to the faithful followers regarding the details of prayer.
UAE National Day
National Day is observed from 2-3 December of each year. This celebration marks the formal nationalization of the UAE, from British Protectorate Treaties which can to an end on 1 December 1971. Eventually the country was unified into seven emirates in 1971, and these emirates formed the modern country. Schools in the UAE celebrate this national holiday throughout the country each year.
The Day Of Sacrifice
The Day of Sacrifice is a Muslim holiday that is celebrated on several days during the Muslim calendar year. This is a holy day that brings about several pilgrimages throughout the United Arab Emirates. Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the language that is most frequently spoken. According to the official documents of the ministry, a majority of the country’s population is Muslim and a small percentage is Christian. Other religions are practicing in this country as well.
End Of Ramadan
The end of Ramadan is celebrated several times throughout the year. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a worldwide observation as this is a month of fasting in the Muslim culture. There is an annual observance that is considered one of the five pillars of Islam. Fasting is obligatory for adult Muslims.