Us in most Muslim countries, Kuwaitis celebrate two major religious holidays. Eid-al-Fitr, or the festival of the breaking of the fast, is observed at the end of the month of Ramadan. For three days Muslim Kuwaitis celebrate the end of fasting. Eid-al-Adha, literally, the festival of the sacrifice, celebrates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to offer his son for sacrifice. This lasts for four days and is marked by the ritual slaughter of sheep and sometimes camels. These are given to the needy. Both of these holidays are celebrated with special congregational prayers, lavish family gatherings and small gifts for little children.
Kuwaitis also celebrate Isra, the Prophet Mohammed's birthday, Miraj, the Prophet's fabled night journey to heaven and the Islamic New Year. Kuwait's National Independence Day is June 19, but the holiday is celebrated on February 25, to coincide with the reign of the former Amir and to avoid the 50C temperatures during June.

For 100 years pearl diving has been a source of income for many Kuwaiti families. Nowadays, it is part of the country's tradition. Once a year, for three days during the summer, Kuwaitis celebrate the Pearl Diving Festival.

Did you know?

Kuwait is the only Gulf state with an elected National Assembly. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Kuwait has a ruling family rather than a royal family.