Holidays in Qatar – There are two major religious celebrations in the country considered to be the major public holidays in the country – Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha. The other fixed holidays in Qatar are National Day and Independence Day.
Eid Al Adha
Eid al Adha is marked by four-day celebration and one of the most holy holidays in Qatar. Eid al Adha, or the feast of sacrifice, remembers the time when Abraham was told to sacrifice his son Ishmael, only to be stopped at the last minute. This is the time when all Muslims who can afford it make a sacrifice: usually a cow, sheep or goat. The meat is then divided into three: a third for the family, a third for poor relatives and a third for the poor and the needy.
Eid Al Fitri
Eid al Fitr is the end of fasting month of Ramadan and is a three day holiday in Qatar. Eid al Fitri marks the end of the month long fasting that is Ramadan – not surprisingly it involves a lot of eating. (Eid itself means feast, while Fitri means to break the fast.) Muslims rise before rather than at the crack of dawn and pray before sun rise, and then spend the day visiting family and friends – and eating large amounts of food, snacks and cakes! For some Muslims this is the biggest holiday of the year.
National DayAnnual Parade in QatarFireworks Display Annually Observed In This Celebration
Founder’s day is a relatively newest addition in the holidays in Qatar, first celebrated in 2007. National Day or Founders day is not the Independence Day. This holiday is a celebration of the rise to power of Sheikh Jassem bin Mohamed bin Thani when they defeated the Turkish Empire in a battle.
Qatar Independence Day
Qatar Independence Day celebrated the day Qatar gained its independence from the UK. The day has, however, been replaced by Qatar National Day. Qatar was always more of a British protectorate rather than a dominion of the British Empire, and far from winning their independence from the UK Qatar had been keen to become part of the protectorate in the first place and, once they had it, to expand the protectorate.
The British ran down their influence in the Gulf and on 3rd September 1971 Qatar became independent. However, arguably a more important date for the Qatari Nation was the day when the Qatari tribes people, lead by the Al Thanis, defeated the Turkish Empire in battle. It is that day, Qatar National Day, which is now celebrated in Qatar rather than Independence Day.
Friday An Ordinary Weekend at Doha Corniche
Friday is a religious holiday in Qatar, but not to the extent that shops are closed all day. While other countries take their rest day from work on Saturday & Sundays, the Middle East countries observe it on Fridays. This is the time of the week where overseas workers of different nationalities take an off from their daily work routine. Party goers generally hit the clubs in a Thursday night since no work duties are waiting in the following day.
Happy Holidays in Qatar!