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8 facts on the Gulf’s largest cultural heritage festival

King Salman bin Abdul Aziz opened the 31st session of the “Jenadriyah National Festival for Heritage and Culture” on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia

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King Salman bin Abdul Aziz opened the 31st session of the “Jenadriyah National Festival for Heritage and Culture” on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia. Here are 8 facts about the festival, which is the largest of its kind in the Gulf region:

1. The late Saudi monarch, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, is the founder of the festival which began in 1985. It takes place in the spring, and attracts visitors from inside as well as outside the Kingdom.

2. At this year’s event, Egypt will participate as the guest of honor of the festival, which ends on February 17th.

3. In this year’s festival, more than 300 thinkers, writers and educators will partake in the festivities from various countries around the world. Around 700 folk art participants from the Kingdom and the rest of the Arab Gulf states will also perform along with 250 artisan teams who represent the various crafts of the Gulf States.

4. The festival is organized in the Jenadriyah village, northeast of Riyadh, and includes Saudi cultural and material heritage; displaying tools that were used in the past decades.

5. At each event, the festival chooses a cultural figure to be honored, for what he/she contributed culturally and intellectually. During the previous sessions, 21 thinkers and intellectuals were honored for their significant contributions.

6. Annually, more than three thousand thinkers, international writers and educators as well as world-renowned influential figures participate in the cultural activities of the festival.

7. Lyrical operetta is one of the most prominent features of the festival. Many poets, composers and artists from Saudi Arabia take part. However, the lyrical operetta will not be in the program of this session.

8. Camel Racing is one of the basic events in the Jenadriyah festival; al Ardah represents one of the most prominent features of the festival, which is a popular folk group dance with swords which epitomizes the heritage of the Arab Gulf states.