The Maldives is famous as a picture-perfect holiday destination, but sadly most visitors remain marooned on the white sandy beaches and crystal clear lagoons of their luxury resort islands – oblivious to the rich and diverse local cultural experiences they could be enjoying. For those seeking an insight into the real Maldives beyond the manicured beaches, an eye-opening trip to see Eid Kulhivaru – a four-day national celebration of the Islamic holiday Eid Ul Adha featuring spectacular street performances, Mashi Maali 'ghosts of mud' parades, feasts, and Bodu Beru drumming and dancing.

A key date in the Islamic calendar, Eid Ul Adha marks the end of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, and is a time for Muslims to give thanks for Allah's blessings. The annual holiday occurs in September or October and each year the Maldivian Government chooses one island to host the country's main celebration of the festival.  Eid Ul Adha falls on 23 September this year, and bespoke holiday specialist Experience Travel Group can organise trips for inquisitive visitors to experience the Maldives' unique Eid Kulhivaru festivities first-hand.