Saturday, December 18, 2010

National Day

December 18th is Qatar National Day. It is one of the biggest celebrations in the country. Yes, the day (or an observed day) is given off work and school. There are festivities all over Doha with Camel Dressage, poetry reading, and other events. The big parade the morning of the 18th is a huge draw, so we decided to brave the masses and participate this year. Here is a little of what we saw.

Dhows (fishing boats) sailing in the harbor

It seemed that every branch of the military and public service was represented in the parade. Most took place on the street, but our pictures are from further back, so it is harder to make out the tanks, horses, camels, filing down the street. There was plenty to see closer to us in the harbor and the air.

Military helicopters

Qatar Airways sent a huge jet to fly by

You may wonder how we traveled to the festivities. Well, we went by car and then took a bus from a designated parking area to the parade route. On the way home, we enjoyed the views of other transportation.

Cars with elements of the Qatar flag

Shrink wrapped in scenes that include images of the emir and heir apparent

If you forgot to put a flag on your car, they were available everywhere from street "vendors"

And, no, one flag is not enough

Nor is one sticker

And, if you car isn't normally white, like so many, but you want to do the Qatar flag thing, just spray it white

Big flags get more attention

Who needs seatbelts, besides, they don't put them on the roof

Just to be sure your flag can be seen, stand on the roof and wave it

It was a warm beautiful day, and everyone seemed to be in good, patriotic spirits. We had fun watching all the locals and expats celebrating and having a great time together. Some things I probably would not do myself (standing on my car waving a flag), but it reminds me a lot of the 4th of July. Noisemakers/firecrackers were heard throughout the day and night, and there was a huge firework show in the harbor that night as well. I hope we continue to take part in this tradition while we are here in Qatar.

1 comment:

  1. What a cool experience. I'm sure right now there is a Lot more celebrating going on. It looks like it is quite the scene, from what they are showing on tv. Hope you guys are doing well. That cute little girl is Sooo cute. She's getting so big.