This is a tough one……some of the most interesting festivals and events around the Kingdom seem to happen in secret. There are some special events you can do any day, or each week, or anytime you want. There are also annual festivals, concerts, street parties and celebrations….these are the ones which are inexplicably hard to find out about, but we’ve tried to include everything we know about. If you’ve heard of a special event you’d like to know more about, and you can’t find it listed below, just use our response form to ask us for details. If we don’t know, we’d love to find out!
Here’s the latest information we have about special events planned in Jordan. For up-to-the-minute information, please check with us for schedule changes, reservations, prices and the like.
Sit where the Romans sat 2,000 years ago in the Jerash Hippodrome to watch a marvelous show which the Roman inhabitants might have watched. This show brings the Roman ruins alive! The show includes a demonstration of Roman Army tactics and weaponry (they even call out the orders in Latin), a series of gladiatorial contests, and finally a thrilling 7-lap chariot race around the Hippodrome. Lots of great photo ops here—after the performance you can go down on the track of the Hippodrome to chat with the performers, try on a Roman helmet or shield (very heavy!) or even take a spin in a chariot.
* Shows scheduled twice daily, 11.00 and 14.00, except afternoon performance only on Fridays and no performances on Tuesdays.
A romantic way to see Petra, Petra by Night is not your typical sound-and-light show. No colored laser beams, no booming amplified music or recorded actor narratives—just a remarkable chance to experience Petra as the ancient spice caravan travelers must have seen it. The mile-long entry gorge (Siq) of Petra, mysterious enough in the daytime, becomes downright fairy-tale magical at night, lit only by flickering luminarios. Ditto for Petra’s imposing Khazneh (the Treasury) monument. There’s a little music (Bedouin shepherd’s flute), a little storytelling by one of the local guides, but this experience is more about atmosphere than content. Just think of it as “organic sound and light.”
If your schedule works out correctly, this is a terrific way to see Petra before your first regular daytime visit.
* Three times weekly—Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, 20.30
Like any home kitchen, The Petra Kitchen is a relaxed, informal atmosphere where you’ll gather to prepare an evening meal, working alongside local women under the supervision of a local chef. Each evening meal includes soup, cold and hot mezza and salads, and a main course—all typical Jordanian dishes. You will get an inside glimpse of the secrets behind the famous regional cuisine of the Levant.
The Petra Kitchen offers an evening of learning, fun and a very special dining experience, with each dish gaining the special flavor of a reward well-earned. Great care has been taken to make The Petra Kitchen a truly Jordanian experience—right down to the furnishings, all crafted in Jordan, the tableware, all produced by the Iraq al Amir Women’s Co-operative, and the aprons and table linens, all hand-embroidered by the Jordan River Foundation.
You’ll get printed recipes for all the dishes you cook, so you can go home and invite all your friends and family to see how you spent your vacation. They’ll surely like it better than a slide show!
* Lessons nightly, time varies according to the season. Reservations required, as space is limited
Festivals and annual events
A festival of song, dance, theater, poetry and culture, with performers from all around the world, the first Jerash Festival was launched in 1981 as the brainchild of Queen Noor al-Hussein. This re-named 3-week festival offers a variety of nightly performances not only in Jerash’s fine Roman theaters (unbelievably good acoustics!), but now also in its new incarnation the Roman Theater in Amman, the Amman Citadel and other venues have been added for performances. The calendar of events is always announced very late, but we’ll try to post a link for the performance schedules when they are announced. If you’re planning on visiting Jordan during the summer and would like to see what’s on tap, be sure to ask us.
* Annual, 3 weeks late July/early August
Gaining popularity by leaps and bounds, Distant Heat is a night of disco madness in the desert of Wadi Rum. A very professional set-up, each year (since 2003) the program has featured world-ranked Top 20 DJs, dinner/breakfast, light show and even sleeping tents for those who have forgotten how to party all night long. Noisy and crazy, it’s the ultimate in “back to nature” clubbing…..don’t worry about noise complaints from the neighbors. The only creatures who might be annoyed are camels, and if they can’t take a joke…….
* Annual, late July
This annual sky-show is one of the best meteor showers around, and runs about a month. The peak nights are August 12-13, when you should be able to see around 50-80 meteors each hour. The Perseids are one of the fastest-moving meteor showers, which makes for a brilliant and exciting display. Wadi Rum, with its complete absence of competing lights, noises and pollution, is one of the best earth-bound vantage points for watching the show.
Join Petra Moon for our annual pilgrimage to Wadi Rum to watch this thrilling phenomenon.
Tired of the same old predictable New Year parties? Ready for something totally different? Petra Moon has been putting together a New Year’s Eve Bash every year since the last century (we started this in 1999, and many thanks to Reid Glover for the perfect suggestion).
Bedouin musicians, folklore show, fireworks, Petra Moon’s trademark lavish dinner and breakfast buffets, camel rides, dancing around the campfire……well, you get the idea.
No guarantees on the weather….some years it’s been cold enough to make dancing compulsory, but there have also been years when nobody even wore jackets. Go figure……
The only thing we can guarantee is a New Year’s Eve Bash unli
ke any other you’ve ever been to!
* Annual, 31 December, Tent space limited, reservations essential