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Khartoum Holidays Overview
Khartoum is the capital of the north eastern African country of Sudan.The city of Khartoum has a very strategic location as it is situated on the confluence of the White Nile and Blue Nile Rivers. The White Nile flows out from Uganda while the Blue Nile emerges from Ethiopia and they both meet in Khartoum after which they merge and flow north towards Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.
The city of Khartoum which is the seat of the Sudanese government is made up of three main areas- Khartoum proper, North Khartoum which is an industrial area that is also known as Bahri and Omdurman which was once the capital of the Mahdist government and has a distinct Middle Eastern flavor. The Blue Nile flows between Khartoum and Bahri while the White Nile flows between Bahri and Omdurman until both branches of this great River meet in an area known as Al- Morgan.
Khartoum’s origins date back to pre-historic times though Modern Khartoum is said to have been established when Sheikh Arabab al Agayed founded the city in the 17th century. The sheikh’s disciples settled around his location and two of his most prominent disciples Sheikh Hamad Wad Um Marioum and Sheikh Khogali founded Khartoum North.
In 1825, Khartoum was made the capital of Sudan which was at that time under Turko-Egyptian rule. Muhammad Ahmad ibn Abd Allah who was known as Mahdi or the redeemer of Islam then captured Khartoum in 1885 and made Omdurman the capital of Sudan. During this uprising the British Governor, General Gordon was killed The Mahdist rule was terminated when his army was defeated in the bloody battle of Omdurman in September 1898. Thereafter Khartoum was brought under the control of the British Governor –General, Lord Kitchener who helped plan the grid like lay out of the city.
Khartoum and the rest of Sudan continued to remain under British rule until 1st January , 1956 when Sudan achieved its independence from the British. Since then the country has been rocked by two civil wars and has faced various other conflicts. This unstable position continues until today as the war in Darfur which is located in Western Sudan has been declared a humanitarian emergency situation and continues to rage on.
Khartoum experiences a hot and dry climate almost all throughout the year with temperatures hovering around 38ºC during the months of February to November though these temperatures dip slightly during the months of December to January when the average maximum temperatures are generally 34ºC.
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holidays - Top Events
Sudan is largely a Muslim country and it accordingly celebrates all the major Islamic festivals like Ramadan Bairam, Kurban Bairam, Eid Al Ramadan, Moulid Al Nabi and Sham Al Nassim.
Ramdan Bairam and Kurban Bairam are the most important religious holidays in Sudan. These holidays are no different the important Muslim festivals celebrated by Muslims all over the world and are Turkish names for the festivals of Eid al Fitr (the feast of the breaking of the fast- Ramadan) and Eid al Kabier.
This religious festival is celebrated at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on the first day of Shawwal. Like all festivals, this event is also celebrated in the company of friends and family and involves the purchasing of new clothes, feasting by ingesting good food and exchanging of gifts.
Eid al Kabier
This day is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice which falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja of the lunar Islamic calendar. This festival is celebrated over three days and involves the sacrifice of a ram to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to God. This event also marks the end of Haj or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which is undertaken by thousands of Muslims every year.
Moulid Al Nabi (The Prophet’s Birthday).
The celebration of Prophet Mohamed’s birthday is a popular event in Khartoum were elaborate celebrations are held at Saggana Square in Khartoum, the Al Khalifa Mosque in Omdurman and the town square in Khartoum North. These events feature entertainment and much feasting and merriment.
Sham Al Nassim (Spring Holiday)
This holiday is celebrated on the first Monday after Easter and is believed to have originated from an Ancient Egyptian festival which celebrated the arrival of spring. This holiday is usually a family affair which features family picnics which are organized on the banks of the River Nile.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Etihad, Emirates, Egyptair, Qatar offer air links to Khartoum from Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne however the flight time of your journey depends on the route that you choose to fly and the stops that you are compelled to make.
Australia doesn’t have a diplomatic mission in Sudan and the country is covered by the Australian Embassy in Egypt. http://www.egypt.embassy.gov.au/