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Jeddah Holidays Overview
Jeddah is the second largest city and the commercial center of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This city which is largely considered to be the main gateway to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina is located on the Red Sea in Western Saudi Arabia. Jeddah is widely considered to be the most cosmopolitan city in the Kingdom, which is due to the fact that for centuries it has been an important port town. In fact until the 1980s many western countries had their diplomatic missions in Jeddah, though now they now have all moved to the capital city of Riyadh .
The name Jeddah translates as ‘grandmother’ and local legend states that Eve of Adam and Eve fame was buried in Jeddah at the Hawa Cemetry which still exists in the Al-Balad Township in Jeddah.
The history of Jeddah can be traced to 646AD when the Caliph Uthman officially established Jeddah as the gateway to Mecca. Jeddah and Mecca came under Turkish control in the 16th century but the local leaders managed to maintain their autonomy. In 1925, the Wahabis under Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud took control of the city and On 10 January 1926, Abdul Ibn Saud was proclaimed King of the Hejaz( the area that comprises the holy cities of Mecca and Medina) in the Great Mosque at Mecca. The descendants of the Abdul Ibn Saud have ruled Saudi Arabia ever since.
Jeddah’s climate is generally described as being arid and dry. Summer temperatures in this coastal city tend to range between a maximum of 40 °C (104 °F) and a minimum of 30 °C (86 °F) while the winter months these temperatures range from15°C(59 °F) and 25°C (77 °F).
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holidays - Top Events
Jeddah celebrates all the major Islamic festivals like:-
Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
Ramadan which is known as the holy month of fasting and falls during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During this month Muslims are not permitted to eat between dawn and dusk. Visitors are also expected to observe these rules in public in Jeddah. At the end of this month Eid –al-Fitr is celebrated with feasts, gift giving and much merrymaking.
Islamic New Year
Islamic New Year- This day is celebrated at the end of January and the beginning of the first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram
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 sheep, goat or cow 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.
Mawlid is a festival that celebrates the Prophet’s Birthday. The festival features parades, feasts and much merry making.
Isra wa al-Miraj
This day refers to the journey prophet Muhammad under took in one night, from Mecca to Jerusalem. The people of Jeddah commemorate this day by praying throughout the night decorating their houses with lights.
Ascension of the King
This day is celebrated on the 9th of June and commemorates the celebrates the King of Saudi Arabia’s accession to the throne.
This international food festival has been held in Jeddah for over a decade now and features cuisines from around the globe.
The Jeddah Summer Tourism Festival
The Jeddah Summer Tourism Festival originated in 2000 and it is a big attraction for tourists from around the world. The festival is usually held during the months of June and July and features a firework display on the Corniche which kicks off the festival. The festival features musical shows, a circus, shopping bazaars and a kid’s theater among other events. In fact the festival features more than 250 events over its 37 day duration and attracts about 3 million people annually.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Etihad, Emirates, Qantas, Qatar and Egyptair offer air links from Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne to Jeddah. The flight time of these journeys however depends on the route that you choose to take and the stops that you are compelled to make.
Australia doesn’t have a diplomatic mission in Jeddah and the city is covered by the Australian Embassy in Riyadh.