Kuwait Public Holidays in 2022

Because of the fear of getting the terrible coronavirus, much of the year 2021 was spent at home for most of us. Due to this, many plans – for pleasure, family, job, and even business – have been postponed for a time.

And, with vaccinations now being carried out in stages across several countries, many people remain hopeful that things will return to normal. Most, if not all people hope that life will return to normal (and soon!). And with it, fresh aspirations and plans for the future are formed, this time for 2022.

By Radiant Guy, (Flickr)

Kuwait Public Holidays in 2022

In this post, we will share the list of the public holidays observed in Kuwait for 2022:

January 1 (Saturday) – New Year’s Day

Kuwait has a public holiday on January 1, which is also known as New Year’s Day. The festivities usually start on New Year’s Eve and end on the 1st of January.

On New Year’s Day, people start fresh and aim to improve their lives. For others, it’s spent recovering from a night out with their friends and family.

Although it follows the Islamic calendar, Kuwait has adopted New Year’s Day as its own. This means that it falls on December 31.

As in other parts of the world, people gather together to watch fireworks and exchange pleasantries.

It’s a tradition to welcome the New Year and celebrate the end of one chapter in life and the beginning of another. And the same applies for Kuwait residents. As with other cultures, the people here welcome the New Year with various festivities and feasts. This is also a time to enjoy food and cultural displays.

February 25 (Friday) – National Day

Kuwait National Day is a yearly event that gives Kuwaiti citizens the opportunity to reflect on their nation’s history.

On February 25, Kuwait National Day, the country’s ruler, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, ascends to the throne.

This day also marks the death of Kuwait’s founding father, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah. Since he played a critical role in the country’s independence, he is honored by this public holiday.

During the 19th century, many people in Kuwait feared an invasion by the Ottoman Empire. The country’s leaders believed it needed assistance from a European nation.

In 1896, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah took over as the new ruler of Kuwait. He aimed to improve the country’s infrastructure by developing it into a modern state.

To safeguard his investments, the new ruler approached the British for an alliance. Eventually, the two countries were able to form an agreement in 1899.

As a British protectorate, Kuwait was granted greater protection from outside threats. However, the country’s sovereignty was reduced as it was required to use its primary resources.

In 1914, the British government recognized Kuwait as an independent country. This led to the country’s economy struggling during the 1930s.

Instead of becoming an industrializing country, Kuwait relied on its traditional industries such as herding and shipbuilding.

During the first few years after the Kuwait Oil Company was established, the country was able to successfully modernise.

Due to the country’s increasing wealth, the government launched various projects to improve the lives of its citizens.

After Kuwait’s independence was declared in 1960, the country’s leaders believed that it was ready to become a fully independent country.

Through the Kuwait-UK Friendship Agreement, the two countries maintained their strong ties. However, the agreement would no longer include certain clauses.

The British also supported Kuwait in the event of a potential invasion. In 1961, a new constitution was drafted to grant Kuwait full independence.

February 26 (Saturday) – Liberation Day

On February 26, 1991, Kuwait was liberated from Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein after the First Gulf War.

After Kuwait gained independence from the British after it gained independence, it became a major oil producer in the Gulf Region.

During the Iran-Iraq War, Kuwait’s oil wealth was used to fund Iraq’s operations. However, when the country became in debt to Iraq, it prompted the country to invade Kuwait.

In 1991, Iraq gained control of a huge portion of the world’s oil supply. After the US and other countries expelled the Iraqi invaders on February 26, 1991, Kuwait was liberated.

On Liberation Day, which is also known as Victory Day in Kuwait, people in the country are known to participate in various public events.

Liberation Day in 2022, falls on a Saturday. For the general population, it is a day off. Most establishments close their doors on this day.

March 1 (Tuesday) – The Prophet’s Ascension

On the 27th day of the seventh month of the Islamic calendar, which is known as Isra and Mi’Raj, is observed. This event marks the moment when God took Mohammad on a journey from Mecca to Medina.

Mi’raj Night and Isra and Mecca are significant dates in the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Night Journey begins with the appearance of Gabriel, an archangel who takes the prophet Muhammad to Jerusalem.

During his time in Jerusalem, the prophet Muhammad met and prayed with various prominent prophets.

The prophet Muhammad was then taken to heaven after ascending through the seven realms.

May 2-4 (Wednesday) – Eid Al Fitr

Eid al Fitr is the second most important holiday of the year for Muslims. It falls on the first day of Shawwal, which coincides with the fasting month of Ramadan.

Eid al Fitr falls on the Western calendar because of the varying dates between the lunar and solar based time-keeping systems.

Although the exact date can be predicted, moon-sighting committees usually announce the start of Eid.

As the festivities begin, the atmosphere in Kuwait begins to change from somber to a more lighthearted one.

This time of year, people start to move on from past grievances. Houses are also decorated with lights and signs that say “Eid Mubarak.”

New clothes are also worn before going to the mosque to perform the khutba or recite a prayer.

Before entering the mosque, people usually give food to the needy. They also distribute gifts to the poor.

At home, gifts are also given to one another. However, the eidiah, which is a gift from an elder, is most commonly given to children.

Most Muslims in Kuwait start celebrating Eid al-Fitr by praying in the morning. This tradition is carried out to give children Eid al-Adha money and enjoy family gatherings.

July 9-10 (Saturday-Sunday) – Eid Al Adha

Eid al-Adha is a Muslim holiday that’s celebrated in Kuwait. The other widely observed occasion is Eid al-Fitr.

Eid al-Adha is a festival that remembers the day when God appeared to Ibraham and asked him to test him. Those who can afford to do so slaughter an animal and share the meat with the less-privileged.

Eid al-Adha is regarded as a revered occasion for the Muslim community. It coincides with the start of the Hajj pilgrimage.

This event attracts millions of people each year. All of them have to go through this journey at least once during their lives.

During this day, Muslims start their day with morning prayers. They then exchange gifts with their friends and family members.

Muslims believe that Ibrahim is the one who sacrificed a sheep, goat, or a cow to God. They do it in their homes or other designated places.

The animal sacrifice is considered a form of charity. It involves distributing the meat to those who are poor and needy during the feast.

Eid al-Adha is also about celebrating the meal with family and friends. During this period, people exchange gifts with their worshipers.

In some Muslim countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, the practice of buying an animal such as a goat or sheep to sacrifice is common.

In other countries, groups of people can purchase a whole animal from a butcher or a slaughterhouse and divide it among themselves. They can also give money to help feed the poor around the world.

During the Hajj, which is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam, millions of Muslims perform the pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

July 30 (Saturday) – Islamic New Year

Kuwait is a predominantly Muslim country that marks the Islamic New Year. Muslims in the country generally keep the occasion low-key.

On the first day of Ramadan, which is also known as New Year’s Day, Muslims in Kuwait and other parts of the world welcome the New Year.

The month of Muharram is considered a pious month in Islam, and most Muslims fast during the start of the month.

Most Muslims may fast until the tenth day of the month, though they may also remember the day when Moses crossed the Red Sea.

The Islamic New Year is a public holiday that usually falls on a Saturday in 2022 and is attended by the general population.

Different Islamic denominations and cultures mark Muharram differently.

On the 10th day of Muharram, some Muslims fast to commemorate the death of the prophet Muhammad’s grandson.

In Iraq, some Shi’a Muslims visit the Imam Husayn Shrine. In Iran, taziya is performed.

During this period, groups or individuals re-enacted the Battle of Karbala.

In Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, the ceremonies are known as Hosay or Hussay. Some Shi’a Muslims from various countries participate in matam or remembrance parades.

During matam, men gather on the streets and beat themselves using a metal chain known as zanjir.

Although it is a public holiday in some countries, such as Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, it is not widely celebrated in other countries, such as Australia and Canada.

However, businesses and organizations may still open late due to the number of people attending the ceremonies.

October 8 (Saturday) – Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday

On the 12th day of the Rabi al-Awwal month, which is also known as Ramadan, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad is celebrated in Kuwait.

Most Sunni Muslims in Kuwait celebrate the birthday of the prophet on the 12th of Rabi al-Awwal. For the Shiites, it comes on the 17th of Rabi al-Awwal.

In Kuwait, the weekend occurs on the following day, which is also known as Eid al-Adha.

The festivities surrounding this holiday are mainly focused on food and various public displays.

On the other hand, some people see Muhammed’s birthday as an event that should be celebrated.

Others believe that the celebration of birthdays is contrary to Islamic law.

Both parties agree that the Hadith, which refers to the events and deeds of Muhammed, should be respected.

Mawlid, also known as Milad, is celebrated in various countries with large street parades.

While celebrating the occasion, some people recite poems about the events that occurred in the prophet’s life.

Note: Holidays in Kuwait, like anyplace else in the world, are subject to last-minute adjustments as sanctioned by the local government. As a result, before organizing a trip to Kuwait, it is strongly advised to confirm the final and official dates of holidays with the embassy.

To our kababayans who have missed going home to the Philippines in recent years, we hope that you will be able to reconcile with your family and loved ones, as well as obtain some much-needed relaxation for your mind, body, and spirit.

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