The cultural setting of Saudi Arabia is Arab and Islam, and society itself is in general deeply religious, conservative, traditional, and family oriented.
(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.
In accordance with Wahhabi doctrine, for many years only two religious holidays were publicly recognized, ʿĪd al-Fiṭr and ʿĪd al-Aḍḥā.
(ʿĪd al-Fiṭr is "the biggest" holiday a three-day period of "feasting, gift-giving and general letting go".
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.
Cinema theatres were shut down in 1980, for example.
Following the principle of "enjoining good and forbidding wrong", there are many limitations on behaviour and dress are strictly enforced both legally and socially, often more so than in other Muslim countries.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited, for example, and there is no theatre or public exhibition of films. Five times each day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques scattered throughout the country.