Ramadhan is the ninth month in the Moslem calendar, a month during which moslems mark 30 days of fasting. The working hours are altered for the month, the government offices being opened from 9:00 AM to 1:30 PM and the private sector also closing for the day at 3:00 in the afternoon.
Eid-ul Al`h`aa falls on the 10th day of Zul Hijja in the Islamic Calendar. While those who can afford are at pilgrimage at the holy Ka`aba in Mecca, for those who stay behind it is a time for celebrations and feasting.
This is the longest holiday during the year and people make preparations well in advance to visit their friends and relatives in other islands. The holiday period is between five to seven days. All over the Maldives the period is one of celebrations. Traditional sports, music and dance go hand in hand with modern sports and music. The young, old, male and female take part in the celebrations.
As with all moslems, Maldivians celebrate the Prophet's birthday. The Prophet's birthday is the 12th day of Rabee-ul Awwal in the Islamic Calendar. Families invite one another to their homes to share the special dishes prepared for the day.
Kuda Eid is the first day of the month of Shawwal in the Islamic Calendar. This follows the end of Ramadhan and it is a period of feasting. Early in the morning men and women gather at the mosque to perform prayer. At each house feasting is prepared and family, friends and neighbors are invited. This is also a period of charity, when families offer Zakath in those less fortunate themselves. Kuda Eid is celebrated for the period of three days during which public holiday period is observed.
Independence Day is celebrated on the 26th July. The highlight of the day is the official celebrations held in the evening at the Republic Square. The event begins with a march past by the National Security Service and the National cadet corps. This is followed by drills, traditional dances and modern drills performed by hundreds of school children in colorful attire. These events are interceded by the passing of floats and processions depicting traditional and modern themes.
On 11th November 1968 Maldives became Republic for the second time. The day is celebrated every year with parades and marches.
The National Day celebrates the great victory of Mohamed Thakurufaanu over the Portuguese in 1573. The National Day is celebrated on the 1st of Rabee-ul Awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar.