A little-known tradition long practised by natives of Alhabla, a remote mountain town near the Saudi-Yemen border is being celebrated for the first time in the village of Rijal Almaa, one of the most prominent heritage and unpublicised destinations in the Kingdom.
With a history that dates back to around 5,000 years, the village is situated on an ancient trade route that once connected Yemen, Makkah and the Levant via the Red Sea.
The exterior of the Flowerman Festival in Saudi Arabia. Courtesy of Ministry of Culture
Until 31 August, the tradition will be showcased to the public under the name The Flowerman Festival. Amidst festivities including video mapping on the ancient stone buildings of Rijal Almaa and an open-air market of hand-crafted products from the region, the flowermen will perform traditional song and dances wearing their delicately construed floral headdresses.
The Flowermen derive their name from the charming crown-like headpieces that have been made from local flowers and grass. Traditionally, they have been worn for public or religious holidays and sometimes also for medicinal purposes.
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