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Mevlana Festival 2018

For nine days from December 10 to 18, the Turkish city of Konya will host one of the most exquisite ceremonies of spirituality with the mesmerising beauty of the Whirling Dervishes. The festival commemorates the life and teachings of the 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi – also known as Mevlana (our master). Mevlevi are also known as the Whirling Dervishes due to their famous practice of whirling as a form of remembrance of God. Dervish is a common term for an initiate of the Sufi path; the whirling is part of the formal Mevlevi Sema Ceremony and the participants are properly known as Semazen. Central to the religion is the sema, the ceremony, the climax of which is the whirling dance. It is performed in traditional symbolic costume of a conical hat or sikke, which represents the tombstone of the ego, and white robes or tennure, which represent its shroud. Modern adherents observe the anniversary of his death each December in a moving and entrancing ceremony that UNESCO has honoured among the world’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

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