Janadriyah, 42 km northeast of Riyadh, is the venue for Saudi Arabia’s national festival of heritage and culture. A colourful festival, held in the winter season every year, which normally falls during the month of February or March. Janadriyah Festival, as it is called, is a rich cultural presentation of the past and present Saudi Arabia. It highlights the culture and heritage of the country which, for the new generation, is a window to the vibrant past.
Long ago, Janadriyah was known as “Rowdhat Souwais” and was mentioned by numerous historians and writers. Though Janadriyah Festival started as a camel race, today, it represents a crossroads where poetry, intellect, culture, art, theatre, as well as heritage and history meet.
The Vision of the Unifier
The vision behind Janadriyah Festival was conceived by the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdul Rahman Al Faisal Al Saud (also known as ‘Ibn Saud’).
The festival, for the first time, was inaugurated by the late King Fahad Ibn Abdul Aziz in 1985.
With the anti-terrorism
A paraglider displaying the message “with the anti-terrorism” slogan hovering above the festival ground.
Handicrafts on the making
An artisan from the Al Hasa region of Saudi Arabia. The festival is a confluence of artists and artisans from almost all the provinces of the Kingdom who display their skills as a live show.
The treasure market
For most of the visitors, this can be a major attraction. These markets outside the festival walls have antique treasures of ornaments, crockery and the like. The bottom part of this picture is an antique Yemeni Gaza, an oil lamp used in olden times.
Colours and Colours!
Janadriyah Festival hosts sellers from all over the country to display and sell their products, mostly handicrafts.
Camel beauty pageant
Cute camels embellished with ornaments that parade through the crowd is a beautiful sight. These specially bred Arabian camels or dromedaries are used on special occasions and for camel racing.
The traditional way of irrigation with the help of camels or donkeys are found even now at some rural areas of Saudi Arabia. These fading traditions are kept alive in the festival that are rare sights for the new generation.
The water is drawn using Dalow (leather bucket) from a deep well called Al-Sawany
It reminds me of Gandhian Charka.
Display of antique ornaments for sale
Exhibition of Saudi Talents
This art gallery displays paintings & drawings of Saudi artists.
Inset: One of the modern arts in display.
The scent of spices, the aromatic herbs spread out in the alleys and strong coffee steams. This market is unforgettable.