JEDDAH: Around this time, every year the mountainous city of Taif is adorned with hues of hot pink roses that produce some of the most alluring perfumes and oils in the world.
The Taif Rose Festival is the modern iteration of a cultivation and harvesting tradition that has taken place in this region for the past nine centuries.
It was launched on May 6 at Al-Rudaf Park in the southern part of the city and is open from 4 p.m. to midnight.
The Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with Taif Municipality and under the patronage of Makkah Governor Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, has held the festival for two consecutive years.
However, it has been operating for 17 years, Ahmad Al-Joaid, a tour guide from Taif who has been operating on the ground for 15 years, told Arab News.
Al-Joaid said, “A number of new activities are added to the festival every year. Al-Rudaf Park is an area of more than half a million square meters… a theater has also been created for the festival… The concerts (are) also a novelty.
The ministry tweeted on its @MoC_Engage account: “Between the beauty of roses and the creativity of art, we welcome you to the Taif Rose Festival.”
The festival has 13 sections with 50 performances and folk dances from across the Kingdom in the park, as well as musical performances by male and female artists.
The organizers have set up a workshop aimed at young people that informs on how to get involved in the perfumery industry.
There is also an exhibition called “Claude Monet”, named after the French painter and founder of Impressionism, who depicted nature with such surprising creativity. Several interpretations of Monet are exhibited.
The festival also offers budding Saudi artists the opportunity to exhibit their paintings at “Cultural Street”, and their drawings and other works of art at “Drawing Exhibit”.
Many families have set up stalls to sell by-products of Taif products such as rose water, perfumes, deodorants, soaps, body and skin care products, food and candies.
The festival is also a great place for social media enthusiasts as it features several scenic backdrops for photography such as the Rose Dome, which contains a giant painting made of natural roses, the largest flower basket in town, and models and decorated doors. with the product.
Visitors can also see and hear various rare birds.
Taif roses have historical, economic and religious significance. The oil is used to perfume the walls of the Kaaba, which is also washed twice a year with its perfumed water.
The region has more than 2,000 flower farms producing more than 200 million roses each season.
Residents of Makkah and Jeddah visit Taif regularly in the summer. “People can do many things in Taif besides visiting the festival during their one-day tour…(including) museums, local markets, rose factories in Al-Shafa and Al-Hada, the cable car, the strawberry farm, the zoo, and historic castles,” said the tour guide.