Samer Muasher recommends the cultural events you should not miss out when visiting Jordan

Jordan, a country renowned for its stunning deserts and lush nature reserves, is also home to a burgeoning cultural scene that offers plenty of options for art enthusiasts of varying tastes.

In addition to the abundance of contemporary art galleries scattered throughout Amman and its surroundings, there are numerous other locations where visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s artistic landscape.

According to Samer Muasher, the Discovery Eco Tourism Chairman and CEO, “Jordan is a country with a rich history and diverse cultural traditions, which are celebrated throughout the year with a variety of events and festivals”.

Here are some cultural events you should not miss out on when visiting Jordan.

Jerash Festival

In the past century, Jerash has undergone significant development due to the rising significance of tourism in the region. It has now become the second most visited tourist destination in Jordan, second only to the renowned Petra ruins.

The majority of the notable structures are situated on the western side of the city, where they have been diligently conserved and protected from any interference. Meanwhile, the contemporary city has expanded towards the east of the river, which historically divided the ancient city of Jerash into two halves.

The Jerash Festival is almost a month-long celebration of music, dance, and theater that takes place in the ancient Roman city of Jerash every summer. This festival attracts performers from all over the world and is a great way to experience the vibrant cultural scene in Jordan.

The festival spans three weeks during the summer and features a plethora of dance, music, and theater performances. The festival is also attended by the Jordanian royal family. This cultural event is widely regarded as one of the most significant ones in the area.

Amman Citadel Festival

The Amman Citadel Festival is a cultural event that takes place in the historic Citadel of Amman, the capital city of Jordan. It is an annual celebration of Jordanian culture that draws both locals and tourists to the heart of the capital city.

The event is held at the iconic Citadel of Amman, an ancient site with a rich history that dates back to the Bronze Age. The festival offers a diverse range of artistic performances, including both contemporary and traditional music, dance, and theater shows.

Local and international musicians take center stage, presenting a mix of classical, contemporary, and world music that reflects the country’s diverse cultural influences. Performers also showcase traditional Jordanian dances, including the famous dabke, a line dance that is often performed at weddings and other festive occasions. The festival’s theater program offers an array of dramatic performances, including plays that reflect Jordanian heritage and history.

In addition to the vibrant performances, the Amman Citadel Festival also offers a variety of food stalls, craft vendors, and other activities that provide visitors with a comprehensive experience of Jordanian culture. The festival’s unique location, in the heart of one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, adds to its charm and historical significance, making it a must-see event for anyone interested in the arts and culture of Jordan.

Dead Sea Ultra Marathon

The Dead Sea Ultra Marathon is an annual event that takes place in the Jordan Valley, starting from the shores of the Dead Sea. This 50-kilometer race is one of the most challenging in the world, with runners facing harsh conditions, but it is also a great way to experience the natural beauty of Jordan.

Despite the extreme temperatures, steep inclines, and challenging terrain, the Dead Sea Ultra Marathon attracts runners from all over the world to compete in the stunning Jordan Valley, starting from the shores of the Dead Sea.

The race takes runners through some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring landscapes in Jordan, including the breathtaking cliffs of the Jordan Valley, the shimmering waters of the Dead Sea, and the rugged mountains that surround the region. Along the way, runners are treated to views of ancient ruins, traditional Bedouin camps, and other historic sites that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the region.

At the end of the race, runners are greeted with a sense of accomplishment, having successfully completed one of the most challenging endurance events in the world, all while experiencing the stunning beauty and rich culture of Jordan. The Dead Sea Ultra Marathon is truly an unforgettable experience for those who have the courage and determination to tackle it.

Despite the challenges, the Dead Sea Ultra Marathon is a great way to experience the natural beauty of Jordan while pushing oneself to the limit. The event also provides an opportunity for participants to interact with local communities and learn about the customs and traditions of the Jordanian people.

Petra By Night

Did you know that Petra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World? Petra is one of the most famous archaeological sites, and Petra By Night is a unique experience that allows visitors to see the ancient city in a different light. During Petra By Night, the city is illuminated by candles, and visitors are treated to traditional music and storytelling.

Enhance your Petra experience by attending the Petra Night Show, an enchanting event that allows you to view a portion of the ancient city illuminated by candlelight. This incomparable experience begins with a walk through the entire Siq to the Treasury, which is lit by over 1,500 candles, providing a spectacular view of this world wonder.

The Petra by Night event takes place every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evening, starting at 8:30 pm from the Petra Visitor Centre. A licensed guide will accompany you throughout the show, and you will be returned to the Visitor Centre at around 10:30 pm.

Al-Balad Music Festival

Al-Balad Festival is a biannual event in Jordan that takes place over several days in downtown Amman. The festival is held in two of the city’s most significant historical venues – the Roman amphitheater and the Odeon amphitheater, which have been meticulously preserved over the centuries.

Since 2009, the Al-Balad Festival has grown in popularity and attracts a diverse audience of music enthusiasts from across the world.

The festival’s location in the heart of Amman’s historic district adds to the cultural significance of the event, providing attendees with an opportunity to explore the vibrant city and experience its rich cultural heritage. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture, sample traditional Jordanian cuisine, and shop for handicrafts and souvenirs from local vendors.

A fusion of traditional and modern music styles

The Al-Balad Music Festival is a celebration of traditional Jordanian music, which includes a variety of styles such as Bedouin music, classical Arabic music, and modern fusion music. Each iteration of the festival features a unique lineup of local and international bands, with a focus on highlighting artists from the Arab region.

The festival’s diverse musical performances span a variety of genres, including rock, pop, hip-hop, jazz, and traditional Middle Eastern music, providing something for everyone. This festival is a great way to experience the vibrant cultural scene in Jordan.

These are just a few of the many cultural events and festivals that take place in Jordan throughout the year. Whether you’re interested in music, cinematography, calligraphy, dance, art, or history, there is something for everyone in this fascinating country.