Ministry of Culture celebrates Saudi ancient ‘flower men festival’ in Asir

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Natives of Alhabla, a remote mountainous town near the Saudi-Yemen border, the flower men take their name from their crowns and headpieces made out of native flowers and grass. — SPA

RIYADH — The Saudi Ministry of Culture is hosting the “Flower men Festival,” celebrating an ancient Saudi tradition from the southern Asir region.

The flower men — a people descended from ancient tribes who reside in Rijal Almaa, an ancient village in Asir — is one of the most unique — but lesser known — aspects of Saudi cultural heritage.

The festival, beginning on Aug. 12 (Monday), will provide visitors with a vivid experience of the history of the flower men through an open-air museum, live folk performances, art and poetry nights and a heritage market.

Natives of Alhabla, a remote mountainous town near the Saudi-Yemen border, the flower men take their name from their crowns and headpieces made out of native flowers and grass. Mostly they are worn for public or religious holidays, while some choose to crown their heads with herbs and greenery for medicinal purposes.

Today, the flower men have become a domestic tourist and cultural attraction, performing their unique rituals against the backdrop of beautiful and untouched landscapes for visitors to the region.

Abdulkarim Alhumaid, the Ministry of Culture’s spokesperson said: “Elevating and supporting Saudi Arabia’s ancient traditions — like the flower men — is a key part of the Ministry of Culture’s efforts to build a thriving cultural sector. We are delighted to be supporting the festival this year and hope that visitors to the Asir region enjoy learning about our rich cultural heritage.”

The festival is part of the Saudi Seasons initiative, run by the Saudi Commission for Tourism, as the Kingdom prepares to open to international tourists, events like the “flower men Festival” will become increasingly recognized on the global cultural calendar and will welcome and delight more visitors each year. The Ministry of Culture is working closely with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Heritage to advance the international profile of Saudi Arabia’s cultural heritage. — SG


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