P A Hameed Padubidri
Daijiworld Media Network - Riyadh
Riyadh, Mar 27: With the ongoing celebration of a spectacular “Rabia Alriyadh Festival-2013”, Riyadh, “the Pearl of the Desert”, became once again the centre of impressive sight gratifying the minds and hearts and the senses. As every year, Riyadh Municipality kicked off the festivity last week in association with the various government agencies, departments, universities and other companies. The gala is being held in Riyadh at the exhibition ground lying between Exit 10 and 11 on the eastern ring road near the Directorate of Civil Defense (Fire Brigade). It is the 10-day fiesta, which will end on March 29.
In Arabic, Rabia means ‘Spring’. Generally, the word (Rabia) consisted of 5 letters and 3 syllables, which is properly accented as RA-BI-A to denote the meaning of spring. So, it is also called “Riyadh Spring Festival” (in Arabic, it is Maharjan Rabia), which is marked as the early arrival of spring season in Saudi Arabia and is also aimed at creating the environmental consciousness to the visitors by concerting a variety of eco-friendly flowers, plants and vegetation.
Speaking to Daijiworld, a municipality personnel informed that the key objective of the gala is to impart visitors the different kinds of flora, agricultural products, basic needs of gardening that helps in enabling a perfect and fantastic garden. Moreover, as he said, it will help increase tourism in the city and augment the feeling of taste and beauty together with the awareness of benefit of preserving the plant life and trees. It also creates a culture of loving and caring of the greenery.
The display of flowers and plants is the main feature of the event. Flower Parade gives the exquisite and ecstatic mood on the occasion amongst the participants regardless of their age. It is for this reason, the event is dubbed as “Gardens and Flowers” which exhibits the art of flower sculpture and gardening including the horticultural skill. It also includes a lot of educational and amusement programmes and other fun and frolics for all sections of the society both Saudis and non-Saudis. Many different varieties of flowers and plants offers the visitors an impression of a multi-colored garden. The major attraction of the festival is a Flower Mat, which is measuring around 500-meter length and is said to have been made up of around 1,35, 000 flowers of different types and colors. It is beautifully arranged and designed in the heart of the event ground. The sightseers, who take a break after their tour, enjoy the flower mat and relish the aroma that it exhale in the breeze. A variety of indoor and outdoor plants and other ornamental plants are put on show as a part of the Maharjan AlRabia.
A thousand of visitors throng in the Festival every day. The side roads (Exit 10 and 11) during the evening time are jam-packed with a lot of vehicles and people. Vehicle needs to move slowly and takes more than half an hour to pass through this direction. Police and other security forces are on the watch to make the smooth flow of vehicles going through this roads. It’s a good opportunity, especially, for the families to getting to there with their kids to spend their school holidays and enjoy the various playoffs in the event. Apart from the flora exhibitions, there are several fun moments for the families and children. The festivity also features the stage performance that included of quizzes and riddles, kid skits, electronic games and other form of entertainments. Ladies and children are also seen in actively participating in the events and answering the puzzles. The mummified animals, live cobra, python, sand vipers, desert snakes, swans and ducks are some of the eye-catching scenes that provides a festive and vibrant touch to the Festival. Shadow theatre with Arabic folklore and traditional dances and music were also organized on the eastern side of the exhibition. Besides, the trade show, eateries, stores and toy shops specially for kids have been put up.
King Khalid International Airport Authority, Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, King Saud University, Greenland Landscaping Company and others have demonstrated their unique foliage. The staffs and students of the agriculture division in Imam Muhammad university are helping to present a effective solution for plants and trees from being attacked by the pests and fleas. The live log diseased by the vermin were on their demonstration items.
Thus, the Spring Festival has more and more attracted the attention of both citizens and expatriates in and around Riyadh and other parts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.