Two Boots and a Farwa

Aljanadriah

We thought quite a bit about our very first post. Should we do a guide about cities we’ve been to before? Wait for our next trip? Show you the kabsa we ate last night that was oh so good (but happens to be picture-less because food comes first. Always).

But then we thought, why not start with our own country? We happen to be from Saudi Arabia, in case you missed the About. Or the bit about kabsa. Or, you know. The picture heading this post. And- Er. Anyway. Anyone will tell you there isn’t a better introduction than our favoritest of saudi festivals: Aljanadriah [الجنادرية]

Held once a year around the end of February, the janadriah festival is a nod towards the venerable traditions in various parts of Saudi Arabia. A sort of saudi epcot, if you will. The 13 provinces of the country each have an area to work with, and display the best of their folk dances, food, products, buildings. Ministries have their own introduction booths as well, along with the armed forces and our neighbors from the GCC. It’s loud, crowded, and absolutely fun.

We managed to go this year with our grandparents. And because we love you, whoever you are, S spent her whole day amassing enough pictures of what we had time to see to paper the wall. Lucky yous. And since this is meant to be a travel guide blog, here are some tips for next year’s visit!

– It gets really crowded after 5, and naturally the people participating get tired as the day drags along, so go early. The earlier the better. This year the festival opened its doors at 3:30pm, so our advise is you leave the house at 3 and arrive there right when the doors open.

– Don’t do what we did and visit places at random. Big mistake. Start with the most popular attractions first, and go on an empty stomach. I suggest Hijaz, where you can find samboosa, mantu, yaghmush, mutabaq, all sorts of desserts and yummy things that’ll be a headache to get to at night and would make a great lunch. And they’re all worth it, trust me. Pass by the man who makes personalized seals before he gets busy, too!

– Bring water. You’ll get  thirsty and once you leave the main entrance there won’t be a lot of places selling refreshments, mostly only traditional food.

-Ask when the عرضات start and plan your time around those, they’re the best part of the festival.

– Get plenty of cash in small bills. There’s a lot of wonderful things to buy and eat, and one big bill will be a headache to change.

– Get a camera, of course, for memories. Oh, and minimize the amount of selfies, er, please. For the good of the public.

– Ladies, someone told us the bathrooms at Albaha are the cleanest. We haven’t tried them to verify the claim, but there you go.

– This is a given, but respect the people around you and be polite. Also, always ask before you take portraits of people, especially the workers.

Please tell us if we’ve missed anything, or if you have any tips of your own to share!

traditional jizani عرضة. They had so much energy, mashAllah.

traditional jizani عرضة. They had so much energy, mashAllah.

كان ودنا نشتري كل شي عنده ،نطلع شجرة فل. بس للأسف، لم نستطع لآسباب معظمها إننا ما نروع الأطفال و أيضا المحافظة على الأمن العام. jizan flower seller

كان ودنا نشتري كل شي عنده ،نطلع شجرة فل. بس للأسف، لم نستطع لآسباب معظمها إننا ما نروع الأطفال و أيضا المحافظة على الأمن العام. jizani flower sellerDSC_0052

jizani handicraft.

jizani handicraft.

The decoration in a traditional jizani house.

The decoration in a traditional jizani house.

the beautiful exterior of a house from the Fursan Islands.

the beautiful exterior of a house from the Fursan Islands.

alqaseem! you can find mamool, guys' نعال and wooden toys for the kids here.

alqaseem! you can find mamool, guys’ نعال and wooden toys for the kids here.

Toy master.

Toy master.

a bahraini cafe! decent shai karak here.

a bahraini cafe! decent shai karak here.

and our omani brothers readying themselves for their own dance.

and our omani brothers readying themselves for their own dance.

obligatory camel picture for anyone interested in cementing stereotypes.

obligatory camel picture for anyone interested in cementing stereotypes.

traditional hijzai windows! if you're ever in Jeddah, pass by albalad, you can still see buildings with them mostly intact there.

traditional hijzai windows! if you’re ever in Jeddah, pass by albalad, you can still see buildings with them mostly intact there.

aforementioned seal maker. you can get a ring for 35 or a gold plated seal thing for 25, and we think it's a steal. (rhyming unintentional.)

aforementioned seal maker. you can get a ring for 35 or a gold plated seal thing for 25, and we think it’s a steal. (rhyming unintentional.) Below’s an example of how they look with ink. seals

we love عرضات. if it ain't obvious by now.

we love عرضات. if it ain’t obvious by now.

in a tiny hijzai 'museum'.

in a tiny hijzai ‘museum’.

FRESH KAAK. we can say no more.

FRESH KAAK. we can say no more.

hennahenna 2Because we love henna.

sincerely dedicated to all things happiness,

two boots and a farwa.

Advertisements
This entry was written by themysteriousscribe and published on March 6, 2014 at 8:21 am. It’s filed under saudi. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: