Muscat Festival….

runs for a month (mostly February) in two locations…. Qurum Park and Naseem Park which is just out of Muscat.  We finally made it there one night near the end of it’s run… and I wished we’d made it sooner so there was time to go again and see and taste more.

Think State Fair if you are American……Canadian National Exhibition if Canadian… or just imagine the biggest and most extravagant show you can….. you’ll come close… sort of.  There is everything, good food, fashion shows, shopping, singers and dancers and acrobats and an incredible sound and light show to wind up the evening.

But there is more…… the Omani Heritage village, for example, where traditional crafts are demonstrated – like how to weave baskets of date palm leaves, used in most Omani villages both to store and collect dates.  (The lady didn’t want her face photographed)There are displays of traditional Omani dresses, a souq, silversmiths working on the creation of traditional coffeepots, weavers assembling goat hair cloaks or grass mats and experts in Bahla pottery. There are scenes from the past (and not so distant past in the more remote areas) of grinding grain for flour,the old water wells where the water was lifted in goat skins by cattle or donkeys.  There singing and dancing, bagpipes, children playing age-old games, a “bride” being transported to her wedding in a very shaky enclosure on the back of a camel.

And did I mention the sound and light show?  It lasted for over half an hour, beginning with a parade of electrically lit floats and dancers that went around the lake in the middle of the park, and then culminated in laser pictures, lights, fountains and an impressive fireworks display.  Just when you thought it must be the end, it got even more incredible.  The thought kept running through my mind…”they do this every night for a month!!!”.

I sure hope I’m here next February to see it again… I’d love to go every other night, just to be able to take it all in.

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