Festivals & Holidays In Bahrain

Public Holidays In Bahrain

DateEnglish nameArabic nameDescription
1 JanuaryNew Year’s Dayرأس السنة الميلاديةThe Gregorian New Year’s Day.
1 MayLabour Dayيوم العمالLocally called “Eid Al Oumal” (Workers’ Day).
16 DecemberNational Dayاليوم الوطنيNational Day of Bahrain.
17 DecemberAccession Dayيوم الجلوسAccession Day for the late Amir Sh. Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa
1st MuharramIslamic New Yearرأس السنة الهجريةIslamic New Year (also known as: Hijri New Year).
9th, 10th MuharramDay of AshuraعاشوراءRepresent the 9th and 10th day of the Hijri month of Muharram. Coincide with the memory of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.
12th Rabiul AwwalProphet Muhammad’s birthdayالمولد النبويCommemorates Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, celebrated in most parts of the Muslim world.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd ShawwalLittle Feastعيد الفطرCommemorates end of Ramadan.
9th ZulhijjahArafat Dayيوم عرفةCommemoration of Muhammad’s final sermon and completion of the message of Islam.
10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th ZulhijjahFeast of the Sacrificeعيد الأضحىCommemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son. Also known as the Big Feast (celebrated from the 10th to 13th)

Festivals In Bahrain

Bahrain is a Muslim country. Therefore, the majority of local holidays are religious. Additionally, several festivals are hosted here. In Muslim nations, the New Year is not celebrated on January 1. Muslims celebrate the New Year on a different date. In some nations, the celebrating of the New Year on January 1 is strictly prohibited. Bahrain is not among these nations. After achieving independence in the 1970s, the nation’s economy continued to grow significantly. Numerous foreigners started to arrive in Bahrain. Today, they constitute nearly half of the country’s population. Consequently, numerous prominent hotels and nightclubs celebrate the New Year with shows, parties, and fireworks.

On December 16-17, we commemorate Independence Day. This day is a holiday. Bahrain has been ruled by multiple states during the course of its history. The Sassanid Empire, the Arab Caliphate, the Emirate of Hormuz, Portugal, and Iran were among these nations. Since the 1870s, the country has been under the protection of the United Kingdom. Under the rule of Emir Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Bahrain attained its freedom. This took place in 1971. Large-scale celebrations feature pyrotechnics, cultural performances, and exhibitions.

Bahrain’s Ministry of Culture hosts an annual TA’a Al Shabab celebration. During it, numerous competitions and exhibitions are held. This includes architectural displays, as well as exhibitions on new technologies, the cultural heritage of the Arab world, the media, and diverse arts (poetry, theater, music, and science). Volunteers organize every event. In 1992, the first Cultural Heritage Festival was organized. Nonetheless, it already has a stellar reputation. It is ruled by King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa. At the festival, traditional folk arts are highly represented. These include basketry, ceramics, jewelry, and Arabic calligraphy. There are also exhibitions of traditional arts and civilizations. National music may be heard everywhere. During the event, you can learn a great deal about pearl fishing and falconry. You can also view pearl fishermen’s traditional dwellings and listen to their music. There are special educational shows for children. They are fundamental to the existence of pearl fishermen.

Arabia Show is a jewelry holiday. It occurs annually in November. This event draws exhibitors from over the Arab world to the Bahrain International exhibition center. Everything is available for foreign guests at the show. There are vintage pieces of jewelry, watches, diamonds and precious stones, gold pieces of jewelry, and silverware produced by hand. Always present at the exhibition are items from Valentino, Chanel, Versace, Gucci, Swatch, Omega, Patek Philippe, and many other renowned brands. Arab generosity also grants women the luxury of viewing and selecting jewels in a safe environment.

The date of the Islamic New Year is calculated using the lunar calendar and other Islamic holiday dates. This day marks the beginning of the historical Hijra, a journey from Medina to Mecca. The Islamic calendar comprises 354 days. The Muslim New Year is a national holiday.

According to the lunar calendar, the start date of Ramadan is calculated in the same manner. During this month, devout Muslims pray and fast throughout the day. They do not consume anything before dusk. Numerous Muslims rise before dusk to get breakfast before beginning their workday. Eid al-Fitr is a celebration celebrating the completion of the month of Ramadan. It is observed on a grand scale. This is a family vacation. Family members meet together. They consume a lot of food and distribute food and money to the destitute. The Prophet observed the feast for the first time in 624, following the victory in the Battle of Badr.

Eid al-Adha is a sacrifice-centered holiday. This is yet another incredibly significant date on the Islamic calendar. It is the penultimate stage of the Mecca pilgrimage. A certain occurrence is connected to the appearance of a holiday. Ibrahim intended to offer his kid as a sacrifice to God. But he was halted at the last second by a voice from the sky. His son was substituted with a lamb. Muslims do this ceremony again by slaughtering a cow or a sheep. The donors and their families consume one-third of the meat. They distribute the remaining one-third to family and friends. The remaining one-third is distributed to the underprivileged.

On the tenth day of the first month of the Islamic calendar, Ashura Day is honored. This date commemorates the death of Husayn Ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet, at the Battle of Karbala in 680. Sunnis and Shiites observe this day in various ways. However, it is a day of sadness and prayer for both religions.

The Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is observed in the third month of the Islamic calendar. Sunnis and Shiites observe the holiday on separate days. Some Sunni sects do not observe this holiday at all. On this day, religious music concerts are organized. You will also get the opportunity to attend religious-themed talks. The holiday was initially observed for the first time in the eighth century. During this time, the former home of the Prophet in Mecca was converted into a place of worship. In remembrance of this occasion, the Milad un Nabi festival with processions and celebrations is conducted.

Day of Arafah is not a national holiday. It signals the conclusion of the Hajj to Mecca. On this day, pilgrims visit Mount Arafat and offer prayers. On this day, it is said that the significance of all deeds, good and bad, multiplies many times.

Muharram - Islamic New Year

As a measure to promote purity during one of the most anticipated events of the year, a ban on alcohol is tightly enforced. The Islamic New Year and the Christian New Year are both celebrated in January, hence the two holidays are frequently combined into a single month of festivities.


On the tenth day of Muharram according to the Islamic calendar, Bahrain’s majority Shi’a Muslims assemble to commemorate the death of Hussain ibn Ali. For most, this is a time of deep pain and mourning, not a celebration. It is remarkable to observe how the local populace remembers the day with a number of processions and customs.

Milad Al Nabi

Milad Al Nabi, the most commonly celebrated event in Bahrain, commemorates the birth of the Prophet Mohammed. Sunnis and Shi’ites, the two largest Islamic factions on the island, both venerate the legacy of this great Muslim figure, but they celebrate the occasion on different days. Every April, processions, feasting, and storytelling serve as the backdrop for a furious celebration.

Independence Day

Every June, Bahraini inhabitants ignore their differences in caste, religion, and social hierarchy to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, opera, and day-and-night-long festivities. It commemorates the day in 1971 when Bahrain achieved its independence from Britain after more than a century as a protectorate state.

Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr

Muslims regard the holy month of Ramadan as the “festive season,” a time for charity and introspection. During daylight hours, Muslims are supposed to fast, but the evenings are extremely enjoyable as families enjoy supper and special Ramadan tents together. The end of Ramadan is commemorated with Eid Al Fitr, a three-day festival of feasts and good deeds.