RIYADH – Three-day long festivities are under way as troves of spectators gather throughout the various municipality-sponsored locations to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr.
The municipality in Riyadh posted its expansive schedule that includes 200 events in 35 locations in the capital spanning the three days of Eid Al-Fitr.
Abdullah Bin Abdulrahman Al-Muqbil, Mayor of Riyadh, expressed his gratitude to Prince Khalid Bin Bandar, Emir of Riyadh, for his role in preparing for these events.
Al-Muqbil, in a statement, thanked the various government organizations and companies in the private sector that have cooperated in realizing the municipality’s expansive program, which he called an imperative and noble public service.
“These festivities are a reminder of how close our community really is, no matter how wide our cities become,” said Nasser, a Saudi father of four, as he walked to his car after Eid prayer Thursday morning.
The festivities include a large fireworks display of over 10,000 fireworks in seven locations, the most vivid being in King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh that took place at 11:50 p.m. on Thursday, with thousands launched until midnight.
Families, looking for a more intimate gathering, can enjoy the various traditional songs and dances at Old Riyadh’s Qasr Al-Hukum area at Al-Safa Square, where eight different groups performed Ardah dances and songs, the first of which started at 8 p.m. Thursday.
Sulieman, a bank employee living in Riyadh’s Northern region, told Saudi Gazette while he was shopping for Eid gifts at Taibah Souk in Olaya: “The first day of Eid is usually a large family gathering, but I will be taking my children to see some of the shows on the second and third days.”
“I want my children to experience that artistic side of our culture,” he added.
With an emphasis on competitions and prizes, a video-game competition sponsored by the municipality is under way at Al-Malaz district, along with competitions for remote-controlled cars and planes for younger audiences.
Faisal, 19, is in Riyadh visiting his family for Eid while on summer break from his university courses in San Diego, California. He has one of the highest online records in FIFA ‘13, an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game, in the region.
“I’ve played football since I was very little, both on the field and in the digital form,” he told Saudi Gazette at a local coffee shop, “I’m looking forward to this competition but the municipality website hasn’t mentioned which titles will be in the competition. I’m assuming FIFA ‘13 will be there; it’s the most popular game in the country.”
Following in the celebration of the Kingdom’s traditions, one of the largest gatherings of the region’s poets has been organized at King Abdulaziz Historical Center, where poets from all age groups have prepared to perform in front of a large audience.
The municipality has also organized events that cater specifically to women, including various traditional crafts and displays, along with performances in poetry and music.
The municipality sponsored festivities will continue until midnight on Sunday and look to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors from all corners of the Kingdom..