Traditions & Rituals

Maldivians share a great sense of family; men, women and children come together in the preparation of food, decoration and entertainment during the planning of festivals. Celebration in Maldives will witness the blend of the traditional and the contemporary. Parades during festivals and days of national importance also play a vital role in city life.  Intensely proud of their nations, Maldivians proudly bring out there national flag during the parades.

The presence of a drummer is a key feature in the life of the Maldives; along with the dancers and the singer they are present on all important family occasions like marriage and circumcision.

All festivals are followed by feasts with dishes like the Gula (fried fish balls with tuna and coconut), kuli boakiba (spicy fish cakes), foni boaika (coconut milk and rice pudding), and kiru Sarbat (sweet milk drink).

Folktales in Maldives: The island nation has a rich tradition of folkltales. These stories help us understand the nature of the society and time in which they developed.

Legend of Koimala: According to a Maldivian epic, Koimala, a prince from India, is said to have come bringing with him his royal lineage, landed on a northern atol, and then made Male his capital. The people of Giraavaru spotted his vessel from afar and welcomed him. They allowed Prince Koimala to settle on that large sandbank in the midst of the waters. Trees were planted on the sandbank and it is said that the first tree that grew on it was the papaya tree. As time went by the local islanders accepted the rule of this northern prince.

The name koi is from Malayalam koya, son of the prince, which is also the name of a high caste group in the Lakshadvip Islands. Koimala has now become a generalized eponymous ancestor of the pre-Muslim Divehis.

Myth of Origin: According to Xavier Romero-Frias’s The Maldive Islanders, A Study of the Popular Culture of an Ancient Ocean Kingdom, Maldivian legend has it that the first inhabitants of the Maldives died in great numbers, but a great sorcerer or fan