In accordance with Wahhabi doctrine, only two religious holidays, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, were publicly recognized, until 2006 when a non-religious holiday, the 23 September national holiday (which commemorates the unification of the kingdom) was reintroduced.Observers have described Saudi Arabian society as deeply religious and deeply conservative.Saudi Arabia is the "only modern Muslim state to have been created by jihad, the only one to claim the Quran as its constitution", and the only Arab-Muslim country "to have escaped European imperialism." The many limitations on behaviour and dress are strictly enforced both legally and socially.Saudi is one of the few countries that have "religious police" (also known as Haia or Mutaween), who patrol the streets "enjoining good and forbidding wrong" by enforcing dress codes, strict separation of men and women, attendance at prayer (salat) five times each day, the ban on alcohol, and other aspects of Sharia (Islamic law) or behavior it believes to be commanded by Islam.Bedouin culture is "actively" preserved by the government..Greetings in Saudi Arabia have been called "formal and proscribed" and lengthy.During the cool weather, wool thobes in dark colors are not uncommon.At special times, men often wear a bisht or mishlah over the thobe.
(ʿĪd al-Fiṭr is "the biggest" holiday a three-day period of "feasting, gift-giving and general letting go".In the state school system, about half of the material taught is religious.In contrast, assigned readings over twelve years of primary and secondary schooling devoted to covering the history, literature, and cultures of the non-Muslim world comes to a total of about 40 pages.Note: The distance to frontier (DTF) measure shows the distance of each economy to the “frontier,” which represents the best performance observed on each of the indicators across all economies in the sample since 2005.An economy’s distance to frontier is reflected on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest performance and 100 represents the frontier.Saudis (men) tend "to take their time and converse for a bit when meeting".Inquiries "about health and family" are customary, but never about a man's wife, as this "is considered disrespectful." Saudi men are known for the physical affection they express towards total strangers (i.e.Cinema theatres were shut down in 1980, for example.(In the privacy of the home behavior can be far looser, and reports from the Daily Mail and Wiki Leaks indicate that the ruling Saudi Royal family applies a different moral code to itself, indulging in parties, drugs and sex.) The kingdom uses not the international Gregorian calendar, but the lunar Islamic calendar, with the start of each lunar month determined not ahead of time by astronomical calculation, but only after the crescent moon is sighted by the proper religious authorities.Many attitudes and traditions are centuries-old, derived from Arab civilization.However its culture has also been affected by rapid change, as the country was transformed from an impoverished nomadic society into a rich commodity producer in just a few years in the 1970s.