265 dervishes to whirl for Mevlana's 800th anniversary

The first major Mevlana event since the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) declared 2007 the "Year of Mevlana" will be held at the Konya Atatürk Stadium on Sept. 30, when 265 whirling dervishes will perform the sema, or tr

265 dervishes to whirl for Mevlana's 800th anniversary
The first major Mevlana event since the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) declared 2007 the "Year of Mevlana" will be held at the Konya Atatürk Stadium on Sept. 30, when 265 whirling dervishes will perform the sema, or trance-like whirling dance.


To celebrate the 800th anniversary of Sufi saint and philosopher Mevlana's birth, sema will be performed in many cities across Turkey as well as abroad. Every December, on Teb-i Arus (the anniversary of Mevlana's death), sema are staged in Konya, but extra activities are being held in 2007.

Konya Turkish Mystical Music Ensemble head Ömer Faruk Belviranlı says the upcoming event is the biggest of the Year of Mevlana. Noting that around 35 whirling dervishes participate in regular Şeb-i Arus ceremonies, Belviranlı said on Sept. 30 there will be 265 whirling dervishes performing sema.

"This year we are going to hold the whirling dance at the Konya Atatürk Stadium. We expect to create a magical atmosphere by having -- for the first time -- 265 whirling dervishes perform at the same time. There aren't enough whirling dervishes in Turkey to reach 265, so we will welcome whirling dervishes from other countries. It will be the first-ever sema with such massive and international participation. The ceremony at the stadium will last around two hours, and the sema with 265 dervishes will last about 20 minutes."

He also noted that the event is expected to attract many local and foreign tourists as well as media attention.


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Last Mod: 06 Eylül 2007, 14:41
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