Libya Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Libya: Holidays, national customs

Public holidays

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 during the day, but only after sunset.

Many restaurants are therefore closed during the day. The festivals Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha last 2-10 days depending on the region.

Date Holiday
February Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice)
February March Islamic New Year
February March Ashoura
28th March British Evacuation Day
June 11 Day of evacuation
May 15 Moloud (Prophet’s Birthday)
July 23 Egyptian Revolution Day
September 1 National holiday
October 7 Italian Evacuation Day
October 26 Leilat al-Meiraj (Ascension of the Prophet)
November Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan)

Source: Countryaah – Libya Holidays

National customs

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 is generally not allowed in Libya, in 1969 a general alcohol ban was passed.

In addition, non-Muslims are generally prohibited from entering mosques and madrasas in which the Friday sermon is still being held.

Libya: climate

Libya can be divided into two different climate zones:

Coastal region

On the coast, temperatures in winter are around 16-20 °C during the day and 8-12 °C at night, while the humidity here is 60-75% all year round. In summer, temperatures rise to 30-33 °C during the day and drop to 20-22 °C at night. Within a year there are only about 30-50 rainy days here.

Desert region

In summer the daytime temperatures are 38-42 °C and fall to 20-26 °C at night. Even in winter the temperatures during the day stay at 18-24 °C, but it can get up to 3 °C at night, sometimes there is even frost. The humidity is usually 20-30%. Giblis (dry sandstorms) often occur here, as also on the coast.

Libya: Sightseeing

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Rock paintings by Tadrart Acacus

The rock paintings by Tadrart Acacus can be found in the southwest of Libya near the city of Ghat. In the rock massif you will find more than 10,000 rock paintings in different styles. Some of the petroglyphs (rock paintings) are about 12,000 years BC. BC originated. Paintings were also dated to the 1st century AD. The paintings provided good indications of the daily life of the people of that time who had lived one after the other in the Sahara.

The paintings showed the changes in the landscape over the years – first savannah, then wet times and now desert- understand quite well. The rock paintings by Tadrart Acacus were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1985, but in the same year they were already on the “Red List” of World Heritage Sites.

Old town of Ghadames

The oasis town of Ghadames is located in the Libyan-Algerian-Tunisian country triangle and is about 500 km from Tripoli.

5 caravan routes crossed in Ghadames. Here the traders turned some of their goods and thus brought prosperity to the city.

The Imanan clan, kings of the northern Tuaregs, resided in the Ghadames and are said to have descended from the Prophet Mohammed.

Each of the seven clans had its own neighborhood. Ghadames is already reported from the time of the Romans, who had troops stationed there. When Byzantium became Christian in the 6th century, a bishopric was established in the oasis. Then in the 7th century Ghadames became Muslim.

The old mud houses in the old town are particularly beautiful. There it is very difficult for a stranger to find their way around. The alleys suggest to the stranger that they are in a maze. Berbers and some Tuaregs live in the oasis.

The old town of Ghadames was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1986.

Ruins of Leptis Magna

In the 1920s, buried under sand dunes, an entire city was found with spacious streets, magnificent buildings, temples, baths and a harbor.

The city of Leptis Magna is a particularly well-preserved Roman ruined city. The ruins of Leptis Magna were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982.

Ruins of Cyrene

Cyrene is located in the east of Libya in a valley of the Jebel Akhdar highlands – near the town of Al Bayda and about 15 km from the Mediterranean coast.

The city was founded in the 7th century BC. Founded in BC and for a long time was a colony of the Greeks of Thera and an important trading city.

The ruins of the city of Cyrene were discovered in the 18th century.

When the Romans occupied the city in the 1st century, there were fears that trade would end, but the city continued to flourish until 365 AD. But an earthquakealmost completely destroyed Cyrene. The ruins that can still be visited today are the Temple of Demeter, the Temple of Apollo, which was built in the 7th century BC. The temple of Zeus and mosaics on the floor in once glamorous villas.

In 2005, 76 well-preserved Roman statues were discovered that were hidden under rubble. The city of the dead from that time lies in front of Cyrene. The ruins of Cyrene were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982.

Ruins of Sabratha

The city of Sabratha is located in the Libyan Munizip az-Zawiya – about 70 km west of Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast.

In the 7th century BC The city was founded by the Phoenicians as a trading place. The city’s port is a natural port. In addition, a trade route led from the city through the Sahara desert.

Trade made the city’s residents wealthy. Then the Romans conquered in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. the town. In the 7th century, Muslims invaded Sarantha and destroyed the trade, and the city quickly became meaningless. The ruins, such as the Roman forum and the theater from Roman times, are still well preserved, as is the Temple of Isis and the Byzantine city wall.

The ruins of Sabratha were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982.

Special structures

Marcus Aurelius Arch in Tripoli

The only surviving monument from Roman times is this triumph arch, which was named after the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and constructed in his honor in the 2nd century. It stands at the northern end of the old town (= Medina).

Great Man-Made River

This is an irrigation system constructed under Muammar al-Qaddafi (el-Gaddafi) in 1982, which uses pipes that extend over thousands of kilometers to bring water from a depth of almost 1,000 meters to Libyan cities such as Tripoli, Benghazi, Sirt and others pumps. It is said to be the largest underground pipeline network in the world and around 6.5 million m³ of fresh water is pumped every day. Muammar al-Qaddafi described it as the “eighth wonder of the world”. With this construction Tripoli secures its water supply.

Assaraya al-Hamra (Red Castle) in Tripoli

The so-called “Red Castle” is the symbol of Tripoli and also determines the skyline of the city. It is located on the outer edge of the old town of Tripoli. It is a broad complex, which consists of numerous courtyards and palace buildings and goes back to the Order of Malta.

Earth houses in Leptis

Eight openings lead from each of the approximately 10 m deep spaces dug by people to eight room caves, in which a family used to live.

Storage castles of the Berbers in the Sahara

In Libya there are about six well-preserved adobe buildings of this type, several of them are between Tripoli and Ghadames.

City walls of Tripoli

The city walls were built by the Romans to protect against internal opponents of the Regio Tripolitania [= historical region in western Libya]. In the 8th century a wall was added to the sea side. The walls of the medina are accessible and offer a beautiful view over the old town.

Museums

Museum in Leptis Magna

You can see a number of valuable statues.

Epigraphic Museum

In this outstanding museum of Tripoli, the visitor can take a look at scriptures from the Phoenician, Roman and Byzantine periods.

Jamahiriya Museum

This museum is Libya’s national museum. The exhibition rooms are located within the Red Castle. In addition to several artifacts from the Greek and Roman epochs of the country, the museum impresses with its exhibits from Leptis Magna and Sabratha.

National Museum in Tripoli

Here you can see the green VW Beetle that Gaddafi drove in 1969 before Idris as-Sanussi was overthrown.

Mosques

Mosques in Tripoli

There are various mosques in Tripoli. Among the most impressive are the Gurgi and Karamanli mosques, which stand out with their impressive decorations and demonstrate the artistic skills of the local craftsmen. Both mosques are located in the old town of Tripoli.

Universities

Al Fateh Univeristy

Tripoli has the largest and most important institute of higher education in all of Libya. The state university was founded in 1957, but was only given its current name 19 years later, after the revolution of the same name. The public university offers free educational opportunities for all residents of the city.

Other larger universities in Libya:

Garyounis University in Benghazi

Al-Arab Medical University in Benghazi (founded 1970)

Bright Star University of Technology

Sebah Medical University

Al Tahdi (Tahaddi) University in Sirte (founded 1991)

University April 7 in Tripoli

Omar el-Mukhtar University in Al Beida

Nasser University in Tripoli

Al Jabal Al Ghabri University

University of Darnah

Higher Institute of Civil Aviation in Sabeh

Najm Satii Technical University in Brega

College of Islamic Daawa in Tripoli

Al-Arab Medical University in Benghazi

Attahaddi University

Natural beauty and harbor

Wan an Namus

The volcanic crater in the south of the country has a diameter of 3 kilometers and is surrounded by several lakes.

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