Saudi National Day is a day celebrated by Saudi Arabians all over the world including those in overseas organizations and educational institutions. Mississippi College (MC) is one of the institutions with a significant number of Saudi Arabian students. On the 22nd of September every year, Saudi students in MC are allowed to celebrate the Saudi National Day. On this day, Saudi Arabians commemorate the unification and foundation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of his Majesty King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud. It is considered a day of delight and pride for Saudi citizens and those outside the kingdom are not left out in the celebrations. It is also a day for all Saudi citizens to recognize the nation’s achievement, glory, and prosperity in service to humanity, especially under wise leadership. The citizens believe that the day comes as a culmination of the process of growth, construction, and development, from the era of the Founder King to the era of well-being witnessed today in the nation under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
On this day, Saudis in various parts of the world fly Saudi flags over buildings, roads, and cars and post pictures of their King in celebration and expression of admiration of their leaders and nation. Like every other Saudis in other parts of the world, Saudi students in MC hold celebrations, which include special events such as folklore performances, traditional dance performances, poetry readings, recreational and sports activities, and firework displays. In these celebrations, Saudi students rejoice while hugging and wishing each other happiness and joy, and through this, the spirit of national unity is renewed among them. These celebrations are also extended to hotels and restaurants owned by Saudis where exclusive discounts are offered on various products and services. Moreover, on this day, Saudi Arabian shirts and other clothes from the nation are worn in appreciation of its achievements in terms of economic development, growth, and security. Most importantly, this is a day when Saudis give thanks to Allah and Prophet Mohammed for the kingdom’s accomplishments.
There are various perspectives and facts about Saudi National Day that make it interesting. In the US, for instance, nothing much is done during national holidays except for individuals keeping off work and engaging in recreational activities. However, Saudi National Day is marked with excitement and joyous celebrations including folklore performances, poetry readings, and traditional dance performances most of which are not witnessed during national day celebrations in countries such as the US. In contrary to national days celebrated in other countries where several past leaders and events are honored, Saudi National Day is commemorated in honor of one individual, His Majesty late King Abdulaziz bin Abdulrahman Al Saud, and this is what makes it interesting. The pride in culture and religion showcased by Saudis on this day also makes it interesting. As already mentioned, Saudis attribute their nation’s accomplishments to Allah and Prophet Mohammed, which sees them go to mosques on this day. This contrasts national days in countries such as the US, which do not visit or hold celebrations in churches to give thanks to God to mark such days. The level of unity showcased by Saudis on this day also makes it interesting. Saudis walk in groups with Saudi shirts, and proudly hug and wish one another with great honor and joy.