Festival of flower men

They smile as cameras and phones capture their floral garlands from all angles. Nearby, several women seated on the ground weave marigolds, jasmine and basil into the charming headpieces that are to be given to both locals and tourists. This is the world’s first Flower Man Festival. The celebration, run by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, celebrates the traditional dress of the Qahtani tribe from Habala, a remote mountainous town near the Saudi-Yemen border. They are otherwise known as Saudi Arabia’s “Flower Men”, due to their colourful headpieces. These are worn for their aesthetics and what the tribe believes is their health-giving properties.