Janadriyah Heritage Festival

Arts & Culture

Janadriyah Festival is the best way discover the precious heritage and culture of Saudi Arabia

Janadriyah Heritage Festival is a spectacular event that offers an opportunity for everyone to get familiar with the precious heritage and culture of Saudi Arabia. The annual festival is held during the winter season in Janadriyah village on the outskirts of Riyadh and it lasts approximately for two very exciting weeks. Although in the beginning it only started as a camel race, today it is an event where poetry, art, culture, theatre, history and folklore meet to create something truly unique and a must experience event for every visitor.

Janadriyah Heritage Festival has grown into one of the most important festivals in the country. But what more could you expect from a festival that is organized by the National Guard under the command of the Crown?

A traditional camel race

The activities that are part of the festival are performed on an area of 1.5 square km. and there are info stands where you can get maps and all the information you may need on performances, exhibits and shows.

The festival’s main aim is to promote unity and sense of belonging for all the people of Saudi Arabia. Each year the festival begins with an opening ceremony which is has special guests of honor and is one of the rare occasions where you can see the king in person.

It’s nice to see that the tradition and activity that started it all, still has an important place in the festival. Camel racing is one of the main events of each Janadriyah Heritage Festival and is attended by visitors from all over the country. This event perfectly portrays the importance of camels in the life of all people who live in Saudi Arabia as well as showing a glimpse of their competitive spirits and the actual training and technique needed to ride this highly resilient animal to victory. It’s not all about showing off as the top five performers always receive special awards and prizes, whilst every participant is shown appreciation by the organizers with symbolic gifts.

After the race, the visitors can attend the Traditional Market which is situated just outside the festival area. For many of the visitors, the market is the most attractive part of the festival because of the many sellers from all over the country who display and sell their products. Most of the products are handmade, made by different materials and coloured in vivid tones. If you’re searching for authentic gift or souvenir this is definitely the place for you. Remember that this is a traditional market and maybe you can even bargain for a better deal on whatever you decide to buy.

Poetry and Singing

Saudi Arabia is a country with a rich cultural heritage that is best portrayed by the plenty cultural events organized as part of the Janadriyah Heritage Festival. Reading traditional poetry is one of those cultural events that celebrate the written word of this high context culture. Many people from the Kingdom with their poetry and unique style of expression attract the attention of numerous attentive people and observers. The visitors will have a unique opportunity to enjoy beautiful verses written by prominent poets as well as many poetical riddles that have been passed on from one generation to the next.

The culture and art are not presented only by reading poetry, but also the performance of many talented artists. The visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy plays organized from groups of artists, directors and producers who come from different regions of the Kingdom and perform with fire in their heart as they draw the audience into their performance. Their plays are usually with humorous content but there are also plays which show many rituals, habits and values of the people who live in this breath-taking country.

Performances by locals

Of course no cultural heritage festival would be complete without showing off the dances that have been passed on for generations. Many dancers and singers through dynamic movements and beautiful music will show the extensive pallet of music-dance combinations that might even be the highlight of your Janadriyah Heritage experience.

Within the festival there is an art gallery where the visitors can enjoy the skilled art pieces created by local artists. For all those who relish art and creativity there are also technical workshops connected with painting, digital art, sculpture, children’s painting, caricature drawing, realistic art and other similar activities where you can learn how to add a Saudi twist to your own style.

Do not leave the Janadriyah Heritage Festival before you taste some of the delicious dishes which are authentic for Saudi Arabia and the Arab world. As the local cuisine uses plenty of herbs and spices for preparing those delicious meals, the festival features a market which offers various aromatic herbs which you can use in the preparation of your lunch or dinner. Make sure you buy some for when you get back home so you can always make your own Saudi dinner.

The Janadriyah Heritage Festival has a various programme each year so make sure you visit our events page where you can get the info for all events taking place in Saudi Arabia, including Janadriyah Festival.

Art exhibition