Bahrain Travel Guides

January

Eid ul Adha
Known as the Festival of Sacrifice in English, this festival marks the time of year when Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca. The event remembers the time when Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, for God. As the story goes, Ishmael was saved and an animal was sacrificed in his place. Muslims across Bahrain sacrifice sheep, camels and cows at this time in a symbolic gesture.

Islamic New Year
Also known as Muharram, the New Year is celebrated with enthusiasm in Bahrain, with a ban on alcohol being observed at many venues on this day

New Years Day
Christians across Bahrain see in the New Year with the usual celebrations, with parties commonly featuring live music, alcohol and fireworks.

February

Ashura
This is also known as the Shi'ite day of mourning and is observed on the 7th of February. Shi’a Muslims participate in the day of mourning in commemoration of the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali. It is also widely thought to be the day when Noah’s Ark came to a standstill and to correspond to the date the Ka’ba was built in Mecca and the prophet Abraham was born.

April

Milad al-Nabi
This event celebrates the birthday of Muhammad, with Sunni and Shi’a Muslims celebrating the event on different days, which normally only fall a few days apart. Activities at this time include processions, feasts, decorations and storytelling.

May

Labour Day
Held on the 1st May, this public holiday is a day of rest for Bahraini workers.

June

Independence Day
This is held on the 27th June, when the citizens of Bahrain celebrate the country’s independence with fireworks, opera and festivities.

September

Chinese Trade Fair
Held in mid-September at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre, this four-day event sees dozens of Chinese traders gather together to promote their products.

Ramadan
This is the most important month in the holy Islamic calendar and a time for fasting. Visitors will notice that daytime activity comes to a halt during this period as Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.

October

Eid ul Fitr
In marking of the end of Ramadan, this three-day festival signifies the end of the fasting period. Food is enjoyed among families and Muslims partake in praying, visiting friends and gift-giving

November

Jewellery Arabia
In early November, the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre hosts this five-day exhibition which showcases jewellery from across the Middle East.

December

Eid al-Watani
Bahrain celebrates National Day on the 16th December, with events including parades and processions.

Accession Day
Held on the 17th December; visitors who come to Bahrain at this time should expect to see buildings illuminated and pictures of the royal family posted on billboards around the capital.

National Holidays

New Year’s Day: 1 January
Labour Day: 1 May
Eid al-Watani (National Day): 16 December
Accession Day: 17 December
Eid ul Adha: date varies each year
Eid ul Fitr (End of Ramadan): date varies each year
Muharram (Islamic New Year): date varies each year
Al Isra’ ul Miraj: date varies each year
Mawlid al Nabi: date varies each year
Ashoura: date varies each year