Monday, 5 September 2016

Bahrain Holidays and Festivals

As a Muslim country, Bahrain holidays
are usually devoted to Islam and part of
a formal schedule that changes from
year to year, depending on the lunar
calendar. The biggest annual events go
by the name Eid—meaning 'celebration'
in Arabic—which these tend to mark the
end of the most solemn religious
periods of the year. As Islam is very
much a religion centered on the family,
celebrations of these occasions often
take place behind closed doors, with
extended families gathering to enjoy
great feasts in residential compounds.

Muharram - Islamic New Year

One of the most highly anticipated
events of the year, a ban on alcohol is
strictly enforced as a measure to
promote purity. The Islamic New Year is
celebrated in January, just as the
Christian New Year, so the two events
often merge together into one month of
celebration.

Ashura

On the 10th day of Muharram on the
Islamic calendar, Bahrain's Shi'a
Muslim majority gather to
commemorate the martyrdom of
Hussain ibn Ali. For most, this is not a
festival, but a sad period of intense grief
and mourning. It is notable to see how
the local population assembles and
commemorates the day in a series of
processions and traditions.

Milad Al Nabi

The most widely-celebrated festival in
Bahrain, Milad Al Nabi honors the birth
of the Prophet Mohammed. Uniting the
two predominant Islamic factions on the
island— the Sunnis and the Shi'ites—
both revere the memory of this
important Muslim figure, although they
celebrate the occasion on different
days. Taking place annually in April,
processions, feasting, and storytelling
set a backdrop of fervent celebration.

Independence Day

Each June, Independence Day is the
time when all the citizens of Bahrain
forget their differences in caste, religion,
and social hierarchy and celebrate with
fireworks, opera, and festivities that
span day and night. It marks the day in
1971 when Bahrain regained its
independence from Britain after being
part a protectorate state for more than a
hundred years.

Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr

The holy month of Ramadan is seen as
the 'festive season' by Muslims, a
period of charity and reflection. During
daylight hours, Muslims are required to
fast, but the evenings are especially
pleasant as families go out to enjoy
themselves over dinner and special
Ramadan tents. The culmination of
Ramadan is known as Eid Al Fitr, a
three-day celebration of feasts and
good deeds.

*culled from www.iexplore.com

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