Libya Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Libya, LY, North Africa)

Photo of crowds at the Tripoli Municipal StadiumFestivals are proving to be a surprisingly big draw for visitors to Libya, with some of the biggest annual events attracting quite literally thousands of people, being held in towns and cities such as Ghadames, Ghat, Tripoli and Zuwarah. They make a great opportunity to hear traditional music, often in spectacular desert surroundings.

Notable things to do staged each year include the sporty Libyan Challenge in February, the Tour of Libya city race every March, the Tripoli International Fair in April, and the Tripoli International Tourism Expo held each May. Later on in the year and worth looking out for is National Day in July, the Zuwarah Awessu Festival in August, and then Independence Day every December.

Libya Calendar of Festivals and Events


  • New Year Celebrations - a time for family parties and an opportunity to dine out at the numerous restaurants that stay open during New Year


  • Germa Arts, Heritage and Tourism Festival - organised by the Municipality of Wadi el-Hayat
  • Libyan Challenge - an ultra marathon trek which takes competitors on a desert course through the Akakus Mountains in the south-west of Libya. The finishing line is at the historic site of Ghat
  • Prophet's Birthday - a prominent Muslim celebration


  • Jamahiriya Day / Declaration of the People's Authority Day - March 2nd, commemorating the 1977 declaration of the country as a Jamahiriya (a republic ruled by the masses)
  • Nalut Festival - aimed at preserving and showcasing the traditional heritage of the Nalut people and region. Visitors can expect an opening ceremony, parade and various music and dance performances
  • Tour of Libya - a long-distance cycle race that starts and finishes in Tripoli, travelling via Al Ajaylat, Sbrata, Sorman, Gado, Jadu and Gheryan
  • British Evacuation Day - March 28th, celebrating the day when the country saw the British military forces leaving the Tobruk Al-Adam Base in 1970, now named the Jamal Abdulnasir Base


  • Tripoli International Fair (TIF) - early April, established in 1927 and now the most historic trade fair held anywhere in Africa
  • Qasr Festival - held in Kabaw to celebrate Berber traditions and customs
  • Western Arab League Flat Horse Racing Meet - a regional horse racing event organised by the Libyan Equestrian and Horse Riding Federation. The Western Arab League Meet has become a traditional part of holiday fun for many people


  • Tripoli International Tourism Expo - mid-May, first held in 2008 and often abbreviated as simply the 'TITEX'. The Tripoli International Tourism Expo provides the welcomed opportunity for local tour operators, hotel owners, airlines and investors to meet up and actively promote regional tourism, attracting over 5,000 visitors


  • American Evacuation Day / US Evacuation Day - June 11th, an anniversary celebration remembering the time when in 1970, the American military forces evacuated the Wheelus Air Base. The American Evacuation Day serves as a Libyan public holiday


  • Ascension of the Prophet - a day for Muslims, usually held in July
  • National Day - July 23rd, a public holiday in the country


  • Zuwarah Awessu Festival - held in Zuwarah. The local Berber people cleanse themselves and their clothes in the sea before feasting on the beach. The Zuwarah Awessu is often accompanied by music performances


  • Revolution Day - September 1st, a national holiday where the streets are decorated with flags. This holiday commemorates Muammar al-Gaddafi's overthrowing of King Idris I on this day in 1969. Visitors can enjoy parading and evening fireworks in the biggest cities, such as Tripoli
  • Tuareg Festival - held in Ghadames at the beginning of September
  • Derj Tourist Festival - an event which features local culture, crafts and music


  • Libya Motor Show - a large international trade show that is frequented by overseas' buyers and members of the public who have a large budget to spend
  • Hoon Date Festival - an event which celebrates the start of the annual date harvest in the desert city of Hoon. Mass harvesting is accompanied by traditional music and songs
  • Ghadames Festival - usually held in mid-October to honour the traditions and culture of the local people. This lively fest is accompanied by singing, dancing and eating of local dishes
  • Green Mountain International Tourist Festival - held in Cyrene
  • Day of Mourning - October 26th, the country remembers those who were either exiled or lost their lives during the Italian rule
  • Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) - late October / early November, with much festivity in Tripoli


  • Ghat Festival - usually held in November or December, this three-day fest is celebrated by local Tuareg tribes. It showcases Tuareg culture and folklore, as well as the traditional industries of the area and that most important of desert animals, the camel
  • Libya Balloon Festival - held in the skies over the Libyan desert
  • Islamic New Year - mid-November, a public holiday


  • Independence Day - December 24th, Libyans commemorate this important anniversary with a public holiday. It was on this day in 1951 when the country gained its independence from the United Kingdom and France
  • Acacus Festival - December to January, unique sunset concerts are staged around the Jebel Acacus basalt monoliths, located on the south-western side of the country, within the heart of the Sahara Desert. This whole area is now listed as a World Heritage Site and boasts various unusual rock formations, ancient rock paintings and prehistoric stone carvings