Kuwait’s National Day falls on the 25th and 26th of February this year. If you haven’t checked your calendars yet, it’s going to be a long weekend celebration.
If you’ve never been to Kuwait before, you might be surprised at how people celebrate their National Day in the open. Yes, everyone goes out in the street, spraying water guns or throwing water balloons at each other. Some people set up tents or picnic mats during the day as several performances are held on the sidewalk. Expect heavy traffic since plenty of cars will be out in the city on that day.
What You Need to Know About Kuwait National Day
A Brief History
One would easily think that Kuwait’s National Day falls on the same date when the country gained its independence. However, this isn’t the case for the Gulf State. Kuwait gained its independence from the British Empire on June 19, 1961. But given the fact that the country experiences extreme heat during the summer, the government later on moved the celebrations on the 25th of February, marking the date when the ruling Sheikh at the time of Kuwait’s independence, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, ascended to power in 1950.
As mentioned above, National Day in Kuwait is a big deal for the locals; most businesses even close on this day. So, to maximize the holiday which falls on a weekend (Sunday and Monday), here are some things you can do:
- Head over to Comic Con Kuwait at Kuwait International Fairgrounds (KIF) from 22-24 February.
If you’re not too wary of seeing a lot of people on the actual holiday, and are actually interested in comics, TV and movies, you can drop by KIF to get a chance to see prominent figures in the comic book and film industry such as Stan Lee (co-writer and co-creator of Spider Man, the Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, an X-Men), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (plays the character of Ser Jamie Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones), and Michael Fassbender (best known for his role as Magneto in the X-Men series), plus loads of fantastic merch and goodies on site. Ticket prices start at KD10 and go up to KD150 (Diamond Pass). For more info on this event, check out their website.
- Catch the latest movies on your Favorite Shopping Malls in Kuwait.
If you’re just a stone throw away from a shopping mall, why not check out any of these latest movies such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Black Panther, and The Greatest Showman. We hear they’re pretty awesome. A little bit of downtime or relaxation can do you some good before the actual festivities kick in.
- Go on a Road Trip with your Best Buddies.
So everyone’s going to be out on the streets on the 25th. Still, going on an outing with your best friends wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Just make sure that you carpool instead of heading out separately to your destination. This way, you can save on gas and be a little considerate of the environment, and maximize your time together as a group in case you get stuck in traffic which is very likely to happen, too. For this situation, be sure to stack up some great music on your playlist for the ride. You can’t go wrong with karaoke night in the car with your best buddies. Just be sure to drive safe and to keep your eyes on the road.
- Catch a Fireworks Show with your family at the Etisalat Beach Canteen at Jumeirah Beach on 25 February.
Take your family out to the beach: set up mats, have an actual picnic before splashing through the waters or playing on the sand. Get some time under the sun and welcome the holiday with fireworks lighting up the evening sky over the cool waters of Jumeirah Beach.
For first-timers in Kuwait, going out on National Day can be a new and exciting experience, but to make it extra memorable, ample planning and preparation is a must.