National Day in Oman
Observed annually on November 18th, Oman’s National Day is a holiday that celebrates Oman’s independence from Portuguese control during the mid-17th century. It marks the beginning of a two-part holiday that continues into the next day, as November 19th celebrates the birthday of the Sultan of Oman.
Although the 18th and 19th are the official days of celebration for these two holidays, the dates may be changed from one year to the next depending on whether the holiday falls on a weekend or if some other event arises that may make the public observation of these holidays unsafe.
The History of National Day in Oman
Beginning in the 16th century, Portugal began to occupy the region that is now Oman. They used the port of Muscat as a way to protect their Indian trade routes and, as a result, they ended up fortifying the town and port significantly. Of course, this caused a lot of unrest among the local population, unrest that would eventually boil over into revolution.
The Al-Ya’ribi clan were displeased with how the Portuguese were exploiting the region, so they made a treaty with the British East India Company to give Great Britain the rights to their ports. This resulted in a loss of Portuguese control in Oman. Their weakened presence would then prompt Imam Sultan Bin Saif to lead a rebellion that would finally expel the Portuguese from Oman and its ports on November 18th, 1650.
Observing National Day in Oman
In Oman, the two days of events hold somewhat of a party atmosphere for the public. There are camel races, equestrian shows, cultural festivals, carnivals, concerts, and parades.
There is also a marine festival and sometimes even a military show. Because this holiday marks the beginning of a two-day national day off, many people head out to visit with loved ones. And of course, as is the case with any celebration, there’s always good food to enjoy, such as Shuwa, Halwa, and Mashakek.