The Maldives has been an Islamic country since 1153 and the Islamic festival
of Eid has always been an important event for the people. Even in the
days of the monarchy, special customs were followed in the Eid. It includes
special drumbeats from 'Nabuskhan', a place where special events are announced
with drums, and the official procession of the Sultan to the Eid prayer.
This procession was accompanied by music and military displays. In the
islands special games are played. People wear new clothes and are in a
Through the times the customs of celebrating the Eid have changed. Now
you can see western and modern music shows held in Male' and other islands.
In addition brass bands, cadets of schools and National security service
holds parades out in the streets. The traditional games are also now revived
including baibala. There are two Eids for Muslims, one after the fasting
days of Ramazan and the other after the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. The
various cultural events associated with these two Eids vary and are also
different from island to island. If a visitor wish to see traditional
events held during these Eid festivals, a local island would be the ideal
one to visit.
The circumcision of small boys is celebrated. Usually the boys are
circumcised in the annual school holidays. The houses are decorated and
music is played. Many people visit such houses mainly to enjoy a game
of carom or participate in the local bodu beru and listen to a local band
perform. It is quite often that you will find some form of powder or spray
ruining your clothes.
INDEPENDENCE DAY |Back to
The Maldives became a British Protectorate in 1887. The British
made an agreement in which they pledged not to interfere with the internal
affairs of the Maldives, while on foreign affairs the British were to
be consulted. In return the British assured of security and protection
from any colonial intimidation. On 26th July 1965, full independence was
granted to the Maldives. Maldives celebrates its Independence Day on 26th
of July. Special celebrations include parades by the National Security
Services and the school children.
A Portuguese fleet attacked Male' in 1558. The ruling Sultan Ali
6th fought against the invaders with little support from his fellow countrymen.
He was killed in the fighting. He is hailed as a national hero and declared
a martyr. He was killed on 1 Shauban 965 A.H. (Islamic calendar). Every
year 1 Shauban is marked Martyr's day in the memory of Sultan Ali 6th.
NATIONAL DAY |Back
After the Portuguese invaded Maldives and killed the reigning Sultan
in 1558, the Maldives was under Portuguese colonial rule until Muhmmad
Thakurufaanu liberated Maldives in 1573. He and his companions arrived
on Male' on 1 Rabeeul Awwal 981 A.H. (Islamic calendar) and ended the
colonial rule of fifteen years. Now 1 Rabeeul Awwal is marked the National
Day. Parades and root marches are held in the streets of Male' and other
islands on this day.
In 1752, in the third year of the reign of Sultan Mukarram Muhammad
Imadudheen 3, a South Indian expedition captured Male', took the King
with them and destroyed the palace. This occurred on 13th Safar 1166 A.H.
(Islamic Calendar). Some of the invaders remained, controlling the Maldives.
Within four months, Maldives regained its independence under the leadership
of Muleege Hassan Maniku, who was later to become a Sultan named Hassan
Izzudheen. This national hero, a descendant of a family from Huraa, Male'
Atoll, liberated Maldives on 3rd Jumadhul Akhir 1166. Hence, this day
is marked as Huravee Day.
PROPHET MUHAMMAD'S BIRTHDAY|Back
The 12th of Rabeeul Awwal in Arabic calendar ismarked the Prophet
Muhammad's Birthday. Traditionally, it was a very important day in which
Malood, Arabic verses praising the Prophet, were sung. Special foods including
aweli were made. Even today, some households offer special prayers and
prepare special food for the occasion. It's a public holiday.
REPUBLICDAY |Back to top|
After hundreds of years as a monarchy, the Maldives became a Republic
on 1 January 1953. However, this Republic was short lived. A monarchy
was restored within the same year after turbulent politics. A Republic
was formed again on 11 November 1968. The Republic Day falls on 11 November.
Parades on streets and special events are held on this day.
VICTORY DAY |Back to top|
A terrorist group attacked Male' on 3 November 1988 and tried to
overthrow the government in an attempted coup. However, they fled the
country after their attempts failed. Victory Day is marked on 3 November.
Click here to view public holidays