The Meaning of Kandil | The Five Holy Nights

KandilKandil or the Five Holy Nights are celebrated throughout Turkey each year.  The meaning of Kandil comes from the word Candle from the time of Sultan Selim II who had candles lit in the Mosques Minarets to mark the holy evenings.

The Days of the Islamic Calendar start at sunset, which is why Kandil is celebrated at Night and as the Islamic Calendar is calculated from the Moon’s rotation, the dates of each of these nights changes each year.

If you are visiting Turkey or living in Turkey you will probably not notice these 5 nights as they are not marked by public holidays.   You may however notice that the Mosques are illuminated to mark these evenings.

On these holy days/nights they are marked by prayer, poems and fasting.  Special Foods are prepared in the homes and greetings are passed around the families.

The Five Holy Nights are:

Mevlid Kandili – The Birth of the Prophet Mohammad

The day is fixed at the 12th day of the month of Rabi al-Awwal in the Muslim calendar.

The Prophet Muhammad was born around A.D. 570 and died in 632. The Mevlid Kandili was first observed around the 13th century and was preceded by a month of celebration. The day is usually celebrated by a sermon, remembrance of the Prophet’s life and mission, gift giving and a feast

Regaip Kandili– The Conception of the Prophet Mohammad

Regaip marks the beginning of three holy months in the Islamic Hijri calendar or know as the “Beginning of the Three Moons,”

Regaip Kandili, or Laylat al-Ragha’ib in Arabic, is a holy night in Islam commemorating the conception of the Prophet Muhammad. As Muslim holidays begin the night before, Regaip Kandili is celebrated on the Thursday night preceding the first Friday in the month of Rajab.

Miraç Kandili– The Prophet Mohammad’s accent into Heaven

The Prophet Muhammad’s Isra and Mi’raj. Isra is the name for his night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem, and Mi’raj is the term for his ascension to heaven, where he met with other prophets and spoke with God. It is celebrated on the 27th day of the month of Rejeb in the Islamic calendar.

The day is more focused on children and youth, who pay a visit to the mosque to hear the story of Isra and Mi’raj.

Berat Kandili – The Day of Forgiveness

The Night of Forgiveness, Berat Kandili or Leylet-ul-Bera’at, observed on the night between the 14th and 15th days of Sha’ban, the eighth month of the Hijra calendar.  Berat Kandili is spent reciting the Quran and performing special prayers as well as visiting the graves of deceased relatives.

Kadir Gecesi – The Korans first appearance to The Prophet Mohammad

Known as Laylat al-Qadr in Arabic, the Night of Power is traditionally accepted as the night between the 26th and 27th days of Ramadan. It is believed that this night is when the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel.

Dates for Kandili in 2013

Mevlid Kandili – The birth of Prophet Mohammad (January 2, 2015)
Regaip Kandili – The beginning of the pregnancy of Prophet Mohammad’s mother (April 23, 2015)
Miraç Kandili – Prophet Mohammad’s rising to sky (May 15, 2015)
Berat Kandili – The forgiveness of the sins (June 1, 2015)
Kadir Gecesi – The Koran’s first appearance to Prophet Mohammad (July 13, 2015)

© 2011 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “The Meaning of Kandil | The Five Holy Nights”

  1. 12th June 2014

    Elise Reply

    Im at my boyfriends house in Izmit. The only celebration here as far as I know was that his mother fasted today. I appreciate your blog, its nice to read about the ups and downs and love in a multicultural family 🙂 I might be in the same kind of shoes one day, who knows. His family is wonderful, but the differences are making themself more and more apparent. Im from Norway btw 🙂

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