maldivian cultural festivals

From religious observances to age-old customs, the  Celebrating Festivals in the Maldives offer a unique glimpse into the heart and soul of the Maldivian people.

Celebration of the Harvest Bodu Mas
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Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha: Rejoicing in Islamic Traditions

As a predominantly Muslim nation, the Maldives wholeheartedly embraces the observance of Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha. Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and the islands burst into a festive mood. Families gather for special prayers at mosques adorned with colorful decorations, exchange gifts, and indulge in delectable feasts, often sharing traditional dishes like the beloved mas huni (shredded smoked fish) and bajiya (crispy pastries). Similarly, Eid ul-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, is celebrated with great enthusiasm, commemorating Prophet Ibrahim’s supreme act of obedience.

National Day and Independence Day: Echoes of Freedom

The Maldives’ struggle for independence is honored through two significant festivals: National Day and Independence Day. On the 1st of Rabi’ ul-Awwal, the nation celebrates National Day, commemorating the victory of Mohammed Thakurufaanu over the Portuguese occupation in 1573. The capital city of Malé becomes a lively stage for parades, cultural performances, and a palpable sense of patriotic pride. Independence Day, on the other hand, is observed on July 26th, marking the country’s hard-won freedom from British rule in 1965. Across the islands, celebrations include flag-raising ceremonies, traditional dances, and energetic music.

Bodun Eid: Welcoming the Monsoon Season

Deeply rooted in the Maldivian way of life, Bodun Eid is a traditional festival that heralds the arrival of the Cuuvatu (Northeast Monsoon) season. This event is particularly cherished in the northern atolls, where local communities gather for thrilling boat races, captivating music performances, and an array of cultural activities. The festivities culminate in a grand finale of fireworks, illuminating the night sky and reflecting the islanders’ joy and gratitude for the changing seasons.

Maulid: Honoring the Prophet’s Birth

Maulid, the celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s birth, is a revered occasion in the Maldives. Mosques resound with melodious recitations from the Quran, and special prayers are offered in honor of the Prophet. Families adorn their homes with intricate oil lamps and prepare traditional sweets like bondi bai (coconut rice) and bambukeylu hiti (sweet potato pudding), sharing them with loved ones and neighbors.

Huravee: A Southern Celebration of Tradition

In the southern atolls of the Maldives, the Huravee festival is a cherished tradition that showcases the rich cultural heritage of these islands. Lively boat races, captivating traditional dances, and energetic music performances create an atmosphere of merriment and community spirit. Locals adorn their vessels with colorful decorations and compete in friendly races, showcasing their maritime skills and deep connection to the sea.

Fishermen’s Day: Honoring the Seafaring Lifeblood

The Maldives, has a deep-rooted connection with the sea and its bounty. Fishermen’s Day is a special occasion that honors the hard work and dedication of the nation’s fishing community. Celebrated on the 10th of December, this day witnesses a series of events and festivities across the islands, paying tribute to the men and women who brave the waters to provide sustenance for their families and the nation. Fishing competitions, boat parades, and cultural performances are organized, showcasing the resilience and skill of the Maldivian fishermen.

Bodu Mas Traditional Celebration

A Traditional Celebration of the Harvest Bodu Mas, which translates to “Big Fish,” is a traditional celebration that marks the beginning of the harvest season in the Maldives. This festival is deeply rooted in the country’s agricultural heritage and is celebrated during the month of Lunu Mavahi (February-March) when the full moon is at its brightest. During Bodu Mas, families gather to prepare special dishes made from the first fruits and vegetables of the harvest, such as traditional sweet treats like theluli and bondi. The festivities often include cultural performances, music, and traditional dances, celebrating the abundance and fertility of the land.


What are the main religious festivals celebrated in Maldives?

The main religious festivals celebrated in the Maldives are Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha, which are Islamic festivals.

How is Ramadan observed in Maldives?

Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, is observed with great reverence in the Maldives. Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, and other activities from dawn to dusk. Special prayers are held in mosques, and families gather for the iftar meal to break their fast in the evenings.

When is National Day celebrated in Maldives?

National Day in the Maldives is celebrated on the 1st of Rabi’ ul-Awwal in the Islamic calendar, commemorating the victory of Mohammed Thakurufaanu over the Portuguese occupation in 1573.

What is the famous festival in Maldives?

One of the most famous festivals in the Maldives is Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm, featuring special prayers, family gatherings, and feasting.

What is the biggest holiday in the Maldives?

The biggest holiday in the Maldives is Eid ul-Fitr, which is a major Islamic festival celebrated at the end of Ramadan. It is a national holiday, and celebrations last for several days.

What is the cultural event in the Maldives?

Some of the major cultural events in the Maldives include the Bodun Eid festival, which marks the beginning of the Cuuvatu (Northeast Monsoon) season, and the Huravee festival, a traditional celebration in the southern atolls featuring boat races, dances, and music performances.

What are some major events in Maldives?

Some major events in the Maldives include Eid ul-Fitr, Eid ul-Adha, National Day, Independence Day, Bodun Eid, Maulid (celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s birth), Huravee, and Fishermen’s Day.