A birthday celebration has been a debate in Saudi Arabia until recently. In 2008, a cleric declared that birthday parties weren’t a good influence. Singing and celebrating were seen as un-Islamic. By 2015, the Ministry of Health established that public hospitals shouldn’t commemorate birthdays after reports that nurses celebrated Christmas. As recently as 2017, a cleric declared on Saudi TV that birthday celebrations were forbidden. Saudi Arabia has been strictly following the Muslim rules, even when other countries within Islam have celebrated birthdays for years.
Still, Saudi Arabia is opening slowly to celebrating birthdays without any issues. Check some features you can find in the kingdom to celebrate your birthday.
It’s still difficult to find birthday cards. Check the limited section in some Virgin Megastores and flower shops for small cards. Also, there are birthday candles in some supermarkets. Still, the range is limited. On the other hand, cakes are available almost everywhere you could think of. Locals love cake and desserts. For this reason, there are numerous cake shops throughout Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital. Munch is a shop with great flavor if you’re looking for a red velvet cake for your birthday. Use the HungerStation app to order your cake. It will be yours in 30 minutes. You can also order balloon arrangements through this app. Remember that dancing or having men and women gathered in a single space is illegal in Saudi Arabia. Make sure to follow those rules to have a quiet celebration.
Celebrating at home or outside
Most birthday celebrations happen at home, but there is a growing trend to organize small gatherings at cafés and restaurants. At restaurants, you will usually see the staff bringing a cake to sing happy birthday. However, most guests look uncomfortable and wait for this part to end as soon as possible. Although there isn’t an actual rule banning birthdays, people aren’t used to this kind of celebration. In addition, the top authorities of Saudi Arabia may find it against Islam rules, so be careful about how you celebrate.
Saudis have the same birthday
February 14th is a special day in Saudi Arabia because 3.5 million Saudis (10% of the population) honor their birthday. It may seem like an unreal fact, but it’s true. Identification cards became mandatory 60 years ago in Saudi Arabia. However, most people who came to register didn’t remember their precise date of birth. Older generations used only to record the year of birth, but neglected to specify the month and day. Birth certificates were also rare during those decades. Due to this massive problem, the Ministerial Agency of Civil Affairs decided to include the seventh month in the Hijiri calendar (Islamic calendar) as the birthdate for millions of Saudis. Nowadays, it’s a funny story for most Saudi families, as most of their members have the same birthday. In some cases, they decide to celebrate on different dates throughout the years, but in other cases, it helps them to do a big festivity for all members.
Saudi Arabia eVisa
Although birthday celebrations may not be popular in Saudi Arabia, honoring your birthday in a different culture is still worth it. Explore Saudi Arabia and its magnificent mixture of cultural heritage and natural landscapes. Before planning your trip, you should be aware of the travel documents you need for your trip. According to your nationality, you must apply for the [Saudi Arabia eVisa]. This electronic visa provides access to Saudi Arabia for tourism. This visa doesn’t allow visits to holy sites. You don’t need to go to an embassy or consulate to acquire this visa because it’s available online. **iVisa.com** can help you with the digital procedure. Go to the application page, complete an online form with your details, and wait for your electronic visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after landing in Saudi Arabia. Once you have the digital document, you must show it to airport officers for smooth entry. The travel document is valid for a maximum stay of 90 days and multiple entries. Saudi Arabia is waiting for your birthday celebration. Travel now and explore more Middle East countries.