Heritage Festival
Rhythms of Bahrain

Heritage Festival 2016

The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities pays homage this year to the memory of all those who were once involved and contributed to the golden age of the Pearl Trade in Bahrain. Under the theme “Rhythms of Bahrain”, the 24th Annual Heritage Festival offers its visitors an immersive sensory experience highlighting the various memories that have shaped life on the island during the pearling era.
The different aspects related to pearling are featured and experienced through sounds and rhythm. Four art installations take central stage and engage the visitors with the traditional sailors’ songs and the conversations they had with their families and beloved. This constant interplay between the sights and sounds narrates and documents the story of the sailors’ and pearl divers, starting from preparing the ships for the journey ahead, to the day they set sail and bid their loved ones farewell (a ceremony called the rukba), to the daily lives of women as they go about their routine until the ship’s return, leading to the day when the community celebrates the return of the crew to solid ground (a ceremony called the qiffal).
In addition, the festival pays tribute to all members of the community who have played a vital role in preserving our unique cultural heritage and distinguished traditions throughout our shared history. From the various craftsmen practicing their trades, to the traditional folk songs and musical performances. The festival culminates in a vibrant and lively space with a market showcasing Bahraini products and food.