Have you ever heard of a Rice Party in Turkey? No, neither had I until a found out all about Muharram in Turkey and it’s traditions.
Last night my husband attended a rice party held by one of the teachers at the school. I was intrigued by this as I had never heard of a rice party before, so I thought I would do some research about this tradition.
Today is Muharram and Muharram is the Islamic New Year, there is no fixed date for Muharrem as the Islamic Calendar is a lunar Calendar and therefore the date changes each year.
Here is an extract from Wikipedia about Muharram and its significance.
Muharram is a month of remembrance that is often considered synonymous with the event of Ashura. Ashura, which literally means the “Tenth” in Arabic, refers to the tenth day of Muharram. It is well-known because of historical significance and mourning for the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad.
Shias start the mourning from the 1st night of Muharram and continue for two months and eight days. However the last days are the most important since these were the days where Hussein and his family and followers (consisting of 72 people, including women, children and aged people) were killed by army of Yazid I at the Battle of Karbala on his orders. Surviving members of the family of Hussein and that of his followers were taken captive and marched to Damascus and imprisoned there.
It is unlawful to fight during the month of Muharram which means “sinful”. On the 10th day of Muharram is Asura, or Aşure in Turkish.
Many Muslims will fast on the eve of Muharram and throughout the month.
After fasting at sunset on the eve of Muharram many will celebrate with family and friends and share food often a sweet rice. At the rice party that my Husband attended by only males, the meal was a large tray of rice, meat and yoghurt, served with salad and bread. Prayers are also said during the meeting.
In 10 days time, it will be Aşure which to Shia Muslims marks the day of mourning for the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala. Aşure Tatil or Noah’s Pudding is made and shared among friends and family.
I hope you liked my little insight into the month of Muharram and some of the many traditions, shared by Turkish Muslims and Muslims around the world.
© 2012 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.