September 23 is celebrated in Saudi Arabia as Saudi National Day, the day when in 1932 the country officially became a unified kingdom under King Abdulaziz. Oddly enough, this holiday was not really celebrated until just a few short years ago. The reason for why this holiday was not celebrated for so many years lies in the question of whether or not such celebrations are forbidden by Islam. This question was an ongoing debate amongst religious scholars until the current king and his government voiced their support of the holiday. With each passing year since then, the nation's birthday celebrations have gotten bigger and better, with fireworks, speeches and ceremonies, face painting, special events, shouting in the streets, special shopping sales, and a general sense of happiness and pride.
On this day, Saudi Arabia becomes awash in a sea of green (the color of the Saudi flag) with many items specially available to wear, banners, flags, balloons, and decorations.
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