National Day is celebrated on the 18th of November, the birthday of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. The whole country decorates the streets with Omani flags and portraits of their dear leader. For me it's the best time to be in Oman. Here's why:
The weather in November feels amazing. At this time we finally start to feel the affects of the coming winter, so the days are warm, and the nights are cool. This is also a good time to find rain in Muscat.
Omanis go all out with decorations. The prime examples come from the displays along the highways in Muscat. The Muscat Expressway is lined with miles of Omani flags. Along Sultan Qaboos Highway you find lighted displays on every lamp post and a string of colorful lights connection them all.
In villages and towns, residents erect large portraits of His Majesty and hang Omani flag streamers which dance the the cool breeze.
Locals are also allowed to decorate their cars, something we are not normally allowed to do. The results are really fun to see. Have a look at the National Day Car Series I photographed last year.
Here's were it really gets interesting. It seems that throughout the course of November every company schedules some sort of celebration. It might be as simple as a luncheon with traditional Omani food. Or larger like a parade with a full marching band and dancing. These are all the privately organized celebrations.
The government organizes events too. Fireworks displays, parades, and performances are just to name a few.
Omanis are great hosts so it's likely you will get invited to a celebration. I've heard stories of tourists driving through small towns and being stopped and invited to come and view the town's activities. A real special experience that is as real as it gets.
Every town has something different to offer. You never know what is around the corner.
We all love to have paid time off work, and Omani workers always receive two days off. These days, however, don't come on the 18th of November. Rather, they are usually given after the 18th and are positioned just before or after a weekend, often giving you a 4 day holiday. Who doesn't like that?
Basically the whole month of November is set aside for National Day, with the frequency of celebrations happening closer to the 18th of November. So, you can still experience National Day even if you can't make it for the 18th.
While traveling around Oman you are bound to come across the wonderful sights and sounds of celebration. Come to Oman in November, you won't regret it.
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