Jor­dan FES­TI­VAL MUST-SEE: JERASH FES­TI­VAL OF CUL­TURE AND ARTS itinerary tip EX­PE­RI­ENCE J ER A SH F E S T I VAL O F CUL­TURE AND ARTS

Nearby Le­banon also plays host to a va­ri­ety of arts and cul­ture fes­ti­vals, such as the By­b­los Fes­ti­val, the Baal­beck In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val, the Zouk Mikael In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val, the Tyre and South Fes­ti­val and the Beited­dine Arts Fes­ti­val – all of whic

Asian Geographic - - West Asia -

Aimed at en­rich­ing Jor­dan’s arts and cul­ture sec­tor, this vi­brant fes­ti­val was founded in 1981 by Queen Nour. The fes­ti­val plays host to Jor­da­nian and for­eign artists, fea­tur­ing a wide va­ri­ety of per­for­mances, in­clud­ing plays, po­etry read­ings, opera and mu­si­cal con­certs. It’s set in Jerash, an an­cient Ro­man city lo­cated in the foothills of the moun­tain of Gilead; it is one of the largest and most well-pre­served Ro­man ruin sites out­side of Italy. Even if you’re not an arts and cul­ture buff, the sheer grandeur of the ruin is enough rea­son to make a stop here: The an­cient col­umns, colon­naded street and oval plaza are re­mark­ably well pre­served.

The fes­ti­val it­self is a three-week­long pro­gramme sched­uled in the sum­mer, and there’s a good chance you could spot mem­bers of the glam­orous Jor­da­nian royal fam­ily, who at­tend ev­ery year. There are also per­for­mances of the Ro­man Army and Char­iot Ex­pe­ri­ence (RACE), which run daily at the hip­po­drome in Jerash all year round. This in­volves a re-en­act­ment of Ro­man times with glad­i­a­tors and char­iot rac­ing – in a gen­uine Ro­man set­ting. Forty-five le­gionar­ies in full ar­mour con­duct drills and bat­tle tac­tics, and Ro­man char­i­ots com­pete in a seven-lap race around the an­cient hip­po­drome.

DO A FES­TI­VAL CIR­CUIT WHEN WHERE

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