Festival of Mevlana

Mevlana, Festival of

This nine-day festival is held in Konya, Turkey, the home of the religious sect known as the Mevlevi. Sometimes referred to as the "Order of the Whirling Dervishes" for the prominent role that ritual dance plays in their weekly observance of sama (congregational music), the sect was founded in the 13th century by Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, one of Turkey's greatest poets and mystics. Their practices were banned in the early part of the 20th century, but in 1954 Konya was given permission to revive the ritual dances. For nine days each year in December, the dervishes dance to the accompaniment of chanting and the music of flute, zither, and drums. Their turning and whirling motions are supposed to represent communion with the Divine.
The Mevlana Festival also offers lectures on the Mevlevis and special exhibits of art that date back to the 11th century.
Turkish Embassy
2525 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-612-6700; fax: 202-612-6744
DictWrldRel-1989, p. 632
FestWrld: Turkey-1999, p. 12
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 181
UndIslam-2004, p. 403
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
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