Jordan: Holidays, Events, and National Customs
The dates for the Islamic holidays are calculated according to the lunar calendar and therefore shift every year. During the fasting month of Ramadan, which precedes the festival day Eid al-Fitr, Muslims do not eat food during the day, but only after sunset. Many restaurants are therefore closed during the day. The festival of Eid al-Fitr lasts 3 days in Jordan, the Eid al-Adha is celebrated for 4 days.
The weekly rest day in Jordan, as in all Muslim countries, is Friday.
|January 1||New Year|
|Jan/Feb/March||Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)|
|Jan/Feb/March||Hijra (Islamic New Year)|
|April May June||Eid al-Mawlid al-Nawabi (Prophet’s Birthday)|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|25. May||Independence day|
|June 9||Day of the accession to the throne of King Abdullah|
|June 10||Armed Forces Day|
|Sept/Oct/Nov||Isra wa al-Miraj (Ascension of the Prophet)|
|Nov/Dec/Jan||Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)|
|14th November||King Hussein Memorial Day|
Source: Countryaah – Jordan Holidays
Every summer this two-week event takes place on the ancient ruins of Jerash, to which musicians and folklore groups from many Arab nations come.
Dead Sea Ultra Marathon in Amman
Every April, the run leads from the highest peaks in Amman to the Dead Sea. It was first launched in 1993. The race is divided into four categories: the ultra marathon over 50 km, the marathon over 42 km, the half marathon over 21 km and a relay over 50 km.
Jordan International Rally
The rally takes place in the summer months over three days on a 1,036 km long route, which is known for its desert stages. It was organized for the first time in 1964 by the Royal Automobile Club of Jordan and enjoys a great reputation among international and national competitors.
The traditional clothing of the Jordanian men consists of a long, unembroidered shirt (thob) and the red and white or black and white patterned headscarf (Hatta) held by a black hoop (I’gal). The women also wear a long dress and a (mostly) red headscarf. The jewelry that women receive for financial security at the wedding is also of great importance.
In the Arab world, trading plays a major role in buying. A guideline for a real price is about one third to one half of the originally asked price. Therefore one should undercut the usually excessively inflated first price demand of the seller accordingly. However, haggling without the intention to buy is considered an insult to the trading partner.
For guests in an Islamic country, consideration for the local customs is required. Women in particular should pay attention to decent clothing. Beach clothing outside the bathing zone is taboo, and long pants are also recommended for men outside the hotel zones. Photographing locals without their permission must be avoided at all costs, as the image of people is traditionally a taboo in Islamic countries. During the fasting month of Ramadan it is better to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public. The sale and serving of alcohol except in the tourist hotels and restaurants is prohibited on Fridays and Ramadan. Drunkenness in public is strictly frowned upon in all Islamic countries; alcohol should only be consumed in public where it is served.
Jordan has a predominantly dry, continental desert climate with large temperature differences between day and night. The summers are very hot throughout the country and the winters are mild. In the mountains at altitudes above 1,000 m, frost and snowfalls occur almost every winter. In contrast, the north-west has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and relatively cool, humid winters. In the Jordan Valley on the western border and on the Red Sea coast in the south of the country, the climate is again subtropical with a dry season from May to September. Most of the precipitation falls there between November and March.
The ideas of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depend on a number of factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people who want to spend a pure beach holiday, for example. The state of health or age can also play an important role. Therefore, our travel time recommendations are divided into the following two categories:
people who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause problems, the following months are particularly recommended for a stay in Jordan: April to October.
For people who prefer temperate climates
People who prefer a moderate climate and lower temperatures should better use the following time to stay in Jordan: November to March.
Weather or climate table
The following table shows climate data for Jordan. It should be noted that the climatic conditions in different regions of the country can differ from each other and therefore also from the values shown. In addition, the monthly temperature averages have little informative value with regard to the minimum or maximum temperatures. It is possible that at average temperatures of around 20 ° C maximum values of 30 °C or more occur. The table therefore only provides a general overview of the climatic conditions in Jordan.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that JO stands for the nation of Jordan as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Rock necropolis and ruins of Petra
This world heritage site was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1985.
A detailed representation of Petra and the rock necropolis as well as the ruins can be found under the following link: Petra
Q’useir Amra desert castle The Q’useir Amra
desert castle is on the way from Baghdad to Amman in the Jordanian desert. It was built in the 8th century. Many caliphs lived here and were delighted to be pampered in the huge bathing wing. The castle is adorned with beautiful, but poorly preserved frescoes. The desert castle was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1985.
Archaeological site Um er-Rasas (Kastron Mefa’a)
Um er-Rasas is located south of Madaba. There you can find remains from the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic periods, which are dated from the 3rd to the 9th century AD. The mosaic floor in St. Stephen’s Church is a gem and proof that a Christian community lived here very well.
South of Um er-Rasas is Kerak, a city of the Moabites and the Nabataeans. In the Bible she was called Qer Harreseth. The Crusaders built a castle there in 1136, which was conquered by the Arabs in 1189. With the help of this castle, the trade routes from Damascus to Egypt and Mecca were controlled. Today the castle ruins are used as a museum.
The archaeological site “Um er-Rasas” was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2004.
The protected area of Wadi Rum “Valley of the Moon” is located near the rock city of Petra. Narrow, high pinnacles rise into the sky, impressive rock bridges and red granite mountains decorate the sandy desert and leave an unforgettable impression. The dunes consist of red sand and you can often see rock arches and bizarre rock towers made of granite and sandstone.
Wadi Rum in Jordan was added to the list of UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites in 2011.
Baptismal site Bethanien
The historical settlement “Bethanien beyond the Jordan” (Al Maghtas = baptism, immersion) is located around 2 km east of the Jordan – around 40 km southwest of the Jordanian capital Amman and around 10 km southeast of Jericho in the West Bank.
According to biblical tradition, this is where John the Baptist lived and worked, who is said to have baptized Jesus here in the Jordan. A church, the remains of which have been found between Bethany and the Jordan, should probably mark the site of Jesus’ baptism.
Already in the time before Jesus the prophet Elias is said to have gone to heaven. Elias had in the second quarter of the 9th century BC. worked in the north of today’s Israel. Bethany is on the ancient pilgrimage route from Jerusalem to Mount Nebo. The Bethanien baptistery was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2015.
Al-Salt is an old city and administrative center and now has around 90,000 residents. The city is located in what is now Jordan on the old main road that led from Amman to Jerusalem.
It is located in the Balqa Highlands at an altitude between 790 and 1,100 m and is built over three hills near the Jordan Valley. The last 50 years of Ottoman rule between 1870 and 1920 were the heyday of Salt.
The large, elegant houses that have been built here by wealthy traders are considered the starting point for modern Levantine architecture. A fortress ruin from the 13th century is located on the hill Jabal al-Qal’a. do.
Salt was already an important settlement in the times of the Romans, the Byzantines and the Mamluks. Originally, King Abdullah I (1882-1951) wanted to make Salt the capital of the First World War, but refrained from doing so.
The town’s small but fine archaeological museum is located in a restored villa.
The town’s historical museum can be found in a magnificent building from the end of the 19th century owned by an important trader in potash (potassium carbonate), which is needed for soap production. The frescoes and the marble of the house came from Italy and the stained glass windows from Belgium.
Other sights are Roman tombs on the outskirts of the city and the local citadel. But it is already a pleasure to stroll through Hammam Street, for example, and have a chat with the open-minded and talkative people.
Of the city’s residents, around 65% are Muslims and 35% are Christians.
Prince Hasan Bin Talal Street
Al Salt 19110
The capital of Jordan was built on seven hills (Jabal) and belonged to the so-called Decapolis, a union of ten ancient cities mainly east of the Jordan, founded in the first century BC. In Amman there are numerous remains from the Greek, Roman and Ottoman occupation times. Between the Al-Hussein Mosque and the Roman Citadel is the country’s most famous oriental market, the “Golden Souk”.
A detailed description of Amman can be found at the following link: Amman. Jerash (Gerasa)
Ancient Gerasa, which was also part of the Decapolis, experienced a tremendous boom as a trading town under Roman rule, which resulted in a wealth of valuable architectural monuments. Due to the dry desert climate, these have been preserved exceptionally well. In addition to the elliptical Roman market square, you can see numerous baths, two theaters, archways, 500 columns that lined the former main street, a Roman aquaduct and the remains of the colossal Artemis temple with six 16 m high columns.
The former medieval town, surrounded by city walls, contains a partially restored crusader castle.
The sights of the former Byzantine city include several old churches and well-preserved mosaic representations. The prophet Moses is said to have been buried on the nearby Mount Nebo.
Located in a valley basin in the mountains of Edom, the city carved into the rock with its temples and caves was until recently still inhabited by Bedouins. Most of it was built in the 6th century BC. Built by the Nabataeans, an Arab desert people. Due to its location at the intersection of several caravan routes, it was from the 5th century BC. It was an important trading center from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century AD. Around 800 historical monuments and places of sacrifice have been preserved in the city and its surroundings, which, in addition to the characteristics of the Nabatean culture, also have Greco-Hellenistic and Roman influences. On July 8, 2007, the rock city of Petra was voted one of the current 7 wonders of the world by means of an internet vote in which around 100 million people took part.
A detailed description of Petra can be found under the following link: Petra
Umm Qais in the north of the country
Here are the ruins of the biblical city of Gadara, a Roman market square, colonnades, the Nymphaeum and the remains of a basilica.
Special cultural assets
“Khazne al-Firau” (treasure house) by Petra
The almost 40 m high magnificent Hellenistic building in the ancient city of Petra was probably built in the 2nd century.
Roman theater in Petra
This system in the ancient city of Petra was also carved directly from the rock in the 1st century and, with 33 rows of seats, offered space for around 5,000 spectators.
Tombs of the King’s Wall of Petra
These monumental grave temples in the ancient city of Petra include the “Corinthian Tomb”, the “Palace Tomb” and the “Urn Tomb”.
Former city center of Petra
On both sides of the columned street of the ancient city of Petra are the remains of the market, the “Temenos Gate”, a Byzantine basilica and several temples, including the “Qasr al-Bint Firaun” from the 1st century BC. Received.
Ed-Deir rock grave near Petra
The monumental Nabataean round temple located on a mountain has a 9 m high peak. The rock tomb is located near the ancient city of Petra
Roman amphitheater in Amman
The largest theater in the country in the capital Amman seats around 6,000 people and was carved into a rock by the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius (86-161 AD) between 138 and 161. Sports and cultural events still take place here today. The Folklore Museum and the Jordan Museum of Popular Traditions are located in its vaults.
Citadel Jebel-el-Qalat in Amman
The construction in Amman goes back to the Roman and Byzantine times and later works to the early Islamic period.
Here is also the huge complex of the Umayyad Palace El-Qasr, which was completed around 750.
Roman relics in Irbid
The Roman relics worth seeing include tombs and statues in the city. Irbid with around 350,000 residents. The city is located around 65 km north of the capital Amman.
Acropolis in Umm Qais
The acropolis in today’s Umm Qais – the former Gadara – dates from the year 218 BC. Chr.
In addition to the Acropolis, the visitor finds here two theaters: Built in the 2nd century West Theater is located on the western slope of the Acropolis and had seating for about 3,000 spectators, while the North Theater space for 6,000 visitors had. However, little remains of this theater.
The city was one of the ten important Greco-Roman cities and was located around 10 km south-east of the southern end of the Sea of Galilee.
Roman monuments in Pella
Pella is a small town about 85 km north of the capital Amman. The then city of Pella was founded in the time of the Greeks, which was followed by the Roman period. From this epoch there are still some interesting ruins. At the time, Pella was one of ten cities in Palestine that were centers of Greco-Roman culture. Then the city was conquered by the Arabs, but was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake in 747 and then lost all importance.
Arab castle Qalaat al-Rabadh near Ajlun
The fortifications were once built by the Arabs to defend against the Crusaders.
Qasr al-Amra and Qasr al-Kharanah east of Amman
The desert castles were built by the Umayyads in the 7th century and served as protection for the caravans. They are decorated with interesting frescoes.
Qasr al Abd in Wadi Seer
The ruined area in the west of Jordan near Amman dates back to around 200 BC. BC back.
Iraq al-Amir, west of Amman
Here is the only remaining palace from the Hellenistic period in the Middle East.
The local Roman Catholic church in memory of John the Baptist was not inaugurated until 1913, but it stands on a crypt that is in parts around 2000 years old and in which there is a grotto with the relic with the head of John the Baptist.
In the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George is the famous mosaic of Madaba – a map of Palestine from the 6th century.
The museum with mosaics and other archaeological finds is also worth seeing.
Madaba, with around 70,000 residents, is a little less than 20 km east of the northern tip of the Dead Sea. Ruins of Machaerus Castle The remains of this earlier castle of Herod the Great (73-4 BC) can be found on a conical mountain peak about 6.5 km east of the Dead Sea and about 55 km southwest of Amman. The castle was used for this at the time to guard and secure the border area of the Jewish province of Perea. Excavation area on both sides of the Wadi al-Kharrar on the Jordan
In the vicinity of the biblical Bethanien (not to be confused with Bethanien near Jerusalem), the former place of activity of John the Baptist, an ancient water pipe system with cisterns, remains of ten churches with mosaics from the late Roman and Byzantine times, hermit caves and large baptismal fonts have already been uncovered. The associated Elias hill with churches and baptismal fonts is now an important tourist attraction.
Museums in Petra
The ancient city of Petra is itself a large open-air museum.
But if you still want more information, you can visit the Archaeological Museum (Petra Archaeological Museum) or the Nabataean Museum (Petra Nabataean Museum).
Archeological Museum in Amman
This museum near the Temple of Hercules on Jabal el Qala has an excellent collection. Starting in the Neolithic, it gives a comprehensive picture of human activities in Jordan through to the Byzantine period. The objects from the old Nabatean city of Petra and the Dead Sea Scrolls are particularly worth seeing.
Amman Folk Costume and Jewelry Museum
The museum is housed within the complex of the huge Roman amphitheater and shows wonderful collections of Palestinian and Jordanian embroidery and magnificent mosaics from Jordanian churches of the 4th and 6th centuries and from Jerash and Madaba. It also exhibits traditional costumes and Bedouin jewelry.
City and Mosaic Museum in Madaba In
addition to the mosaics, other archaeological finds are also on display, and there is also an ethnographic section. Madaba !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Temple of Hercules in Amman
On the top of the Jabal el Qala mountain stand the ruins of a Roman Temple of Hercules, which is said to have been built under the rule of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180). The temple is very similar to that of Artemis in Ephesus.
Byzantine Basilica in Amman.
Near the Umayyad Palace are the remains of the Byzantine Basilica. Corinthian columns mark the location of the church, which is dated back to the 6th or 7th century.
Abu Darweesh Mosque in Amman
The building was built by one of Amman’s many Kyrgyz immigrants on the highest point of the city, Jabal Ashrafieh. The roof stands out with its unique black and white checkered pattern.
King Abdullah I Mosque in Amman
The important mosque was built between 1982 and 1989 by King Hussein in honor of his grandfather and is crowned by a magnificent dome with blue mosaics. Up to 3,000 Muslims can offer their prayers under their protection. The dome is reminiscent of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, as it rises above the central nave (men’s prayer room) without support. The mosque also has two minarets and its own women’s prayer room.
Moses Memorial Church near Amman
The basilica was built in the 4th century on Mount Nebo (Fasaliyyeh), about 30 km from Amman. This mountain is mentioned in the Bible as the place from which Moses saw the Promised Land shortly before his death.
St. George’s Church in Madaba
This Greek Orthodox church contains a famous mosaic depicting Palestine from the years 560-65. The original was composed of around 2.3 million stones and had an area of 25 x 5 m, the restored version is only about 16 x 5 m in size.
Roman and Byzantine churches in Gerasa
These include the Church of Elias and Mary from the year 442, the Church of the Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs from 464/465, the Georgskirche from 529, the Synagogue Church from 530, the rotunda of the Johanneskirche from 531, the Church of Peter and Paul from around 540, the Propylaean Church from around 565 and the church of Bishop Genesius from the year 611.
Church in Umm el Jimal
The building is one of the oldest Christian churches in Jordan and dates back to 345 AD.
University of Jordan
The University of Jordan was founded in 1962 and is state supported. It is the largest and oldest university in the country and is located in Amman.
Around 39,000 students study at the university. The university is divided into the following faculties and departments:
- Medical school
- Dental Faculty
- Pharmaceutical Faculty
- Faculty of Health and Nursing
- Faculty of natural sciences, divided into the following areas:- Mathematics- Physics and materials science
- Faculty of Agriculture
- Faculty of Engineering and Technology
- King Abdullah II School of Information Technology
- Faculty of Foreign Languages
- Faculty of Arts
- Faculty of Humanitarian and Social Sciences
- Faculty of Sharia (Islamic Studies)
- Faculty of Business and Economics
- Law Faculty
- Faculty of Education
- Sports Science Faculty
- Faculty of Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine
- Faculty of Art and Design
Mujib Dam (Wadi Al-Mujib Dam)
The 67 high and 764 m long dam, built between 1999 and 2003, is primarily used for irrigation in agriculture.
The dam and reservoir are located south of Amman.
In the Jordan River, in Arabic Nahr al-urdun, according to the New Testament, Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John the Baptist (Matt 3:13). The river gave Jordan its name and is fed by the tributaries Hasbani (from Lebanon), Banias and Dan (both coming from Mount Hermon). The water of the Jordan is of great importance for the rain-poor countries in the region.
Oases Shaumari Park and Azraq Wetland Park
In these reserves, maintained with the help of the World Wildlife Fund, endangered wild animals such as gazelles live. The associated wetlands are used by many migratory birds as wintering places.
Diving sites in the Gulf of Aqaba (Red Sea)
Here you will find the northernmost coral reefs in the world and fantastic diving areas with excellent visibility.
Desert landscape of Wadi Rum
The walls of the largest Jordanian wadi are made of sandstone and granite. Several hundred Bedouins still live here today.
The dead Sea
Anyone visiting Jordan should definitely pay a visit to the Dead Sea. It is a unique natural attraction in the country.
Despite its name “Sea”, the Dead Sea is now only a lake of around 600 km². It gets its water from the Jordan River and from nearby freshwater springs and streams that are enriched with mineral-rich mud – but the lake has no drainage. However, through evaporation, it loses about as much water as flows into it via the Jordan. This is why numerous salts have accumulated in the water over time, so that it has a salt content of up to 33% – that’s about ten times as much as the saz content of the Mediterranean. Its water surface is more than 400 m below sea level (NN
The salt of the lake contains approximately 51% magnesium chloride (MgCl), 14.5% calcium chloride (CaCl), 30.2% sodium chloride (NaCl) and 4.5% potassium chloride (KCl). The rest is made up of a number of trace elements. Due to the increasing amount of water withdrawn from the Jordan, the water level of the lake is now falling continuously, and with it, of course, its water surface.
There are no higher living beings in the lake, such as fish. There are a number of salt extraction plants on its banks. In addition, the water is considered to be beneficial for a number of skin diseases – for example psoriasis or neurodermatitis. The dry and pollen-free air also has a high relaxation and recovery factor.
In addition to Jordan, there are also Israel and the Palestinian West Bank, which is still under Israeli military administration, on the lake.
On the Jordanian side, the towns of Numeira and Bab Edh Dhra on the Lisan Peninsula, which may have been on the site of the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, are undoubtedly of interest.
On the Israeli side, at the lake or in its vicinity, the place where the Qumran Scrolls were found, the city of Jericho (approx. 10 km from the north bank), the rock fortress Masada and the oasis En Gedi are located.