World's largest culture and heritage festival to be held in Riyadh

33rd edition of the National Festival of Heritage and Culture will be held in Saudi city capital for three weeks as rich programme awaits visitors.

RIYADH - With the support and under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the 33rd Edition of the National Festival of Heritage and Culture will be held in Janadria for 21 days during the period from Thursday 20th December 2018 to Wednesday 9th January 2019.

Organized by the Saudi Ministry of National Guard, the festival is part of the efforts to intensify attention for Saudi heritage, expose it regionally and globally and to promote dialogue among cultures and civilizations.

Janadria is the largest Saudi cultural festival that simulates the history, present and future of Saudi Arabia and the largest event of its kind in the region.

Since 1985, it has witnessed extensive Saudi participation besides a growing Arab and Gulf presence and an unprecedented public presence.

The festival annually attracts millions of lovers of cultural heritage and originality and includes the launch of several distinctive cultural initiatives.

This year the festival is characterized by a wide participation from the United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, the Kingdom of Bahrain along with Indonesia, the guest of honour of the festival.

Many ministers, cultural ambassadors, writers and dignitaries from around the world are expected to attend this unique festival celebrating cultural diversity.

 With a high-level official presence from the GCC and Arab countries, this year's festival will be held under the theme of ‘Wafaa  wa Walaa’ – ‘Faithfulness and Loyalty.’

The festival will present to the public a  literary and artistic distinctive work, including the opera performance ‘Tilal Ya Yaat’ performed by Mohammed Abdo and Rashid Al Majid, with the words of the poet Fahd Aft and composed by the musician Talal and with the participation of the artist Mazal Farhan for the first time.

The programme includes the launch of the camel race heritage, a race which is the first nucleus of the Janadria Festival known more than 40 years ago which then turned into an annual cultural and heritage festival.

The race expresses the profound Arab originality in the hearts of the people of the Gulf region and develops the spirit of belonging to the heritage.

 The festival is also unique with ‘Al Arda Art’ which represents one of the most important events and expresses the unity of the homeland and embodies the pride of the nation, its strength and cohesion.

It is noteworthy that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has included the Saudi ‘Al Arda Art’ in 2015 in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, which confirms the cultural richness of Saudi Arabia and contributes to efforts to preserve the heritage from extinction.

The new edition is the largest in the history of the Festival, as it will be attended by more than 50 Saudi government institutions and sectors through stands, heritage buildings and cultural art exhibitions, as well as new headquarters this year for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tabuk and Al Jouf.

The Festival will review the stands of the Saudi regions, which share their heritage to revive the heritage of parents and grandparents through special programmes and events, including folk shows, handicrafts, heritage collections, local food, seminars and cultural activities.

Through a rich cultural and intellectual programme the National Heritage and Culture Festival is keen to align with events and developments of the home country in a regional and international context. The programme is appreciated due to the value of its topics and their balance and connection to common humanitarian concerns away from ideologies and differences.

 The programme of folk literature at the Janadria Festival will have a wide participation of a number of famous Saudi, Emirati and Kuwaiti poets through poetry evenings, literary seminars and evenings filled with performances of national ‘Shallat’ and playing the ‘Rababa.’