Date: The Islamic New Year begins with ‘Muharram’, which is the first month of the Islamic calendar. Islamic New Year is celebrated on the first day of the month of Muharram and it is welcomed once the moon can be seen. When plotted against the Gregorian calendar, the date would be October 14, 2015 (Wednesday). According to the Muslim calendar it would commence the Islamic year of 1437.
Calendar System: The Muslim calendar system is known by the name of Hijri (AH). The Hijri calendar consists of twelve months that are made of 354 days. This is a lunar based calendar. As such when coordinated with the modern day calendar, the date of the Muslim New Year changes from one year to another year. The first month of the Islamic calendar is known as Muharram, and the Muslims consider this month to be one of the holiest months. The first day of the month of Muharram is the Islamic or Muslim New Year.
Observances: Islamic New Year celebration is not too joyous. In fact the Muslims observe their New Year in the most somber manner. It is that time of the year when the pious Muslims are encouraged to think about their life and to make a resolution so that they never deviate from the path of virtue or disobey the moral guidelines that have been provided by the Prophet. Special prayers are organized at the mosques and people in large number attend the mosques and visit the dargas. This is also the day when special reverence is paid to the Prophet Muhammad. Another tradition that is attached to the New Year celebration for the Muslims is to narrate the way Muhammad retreated from Medina to Mecca. The Shia sect of the Muslims often takes out processions where scenes from the Battle of Karbala are enacted. Donating to charity is considered auspicious on this day.
Mourning of Muharram: Muharram observances are linked with the period of mourning that the Muslims follow to commemorate the martyrdom of Hussein-Ibn-Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad in the Battle of Karbala. Hussein was martyred in his attempt to protect the identity of Islam. He was martyred on the tenth day of the holy month of Muharram. The tenth day of Muharram is known as Ashura. The Muslims however begin the period of mourning from the first day of the holy month which comes to an end on Ashura. Hussein is believed to have been martyred at magrib which is the period of dusk just after sunset. Special prayers are held at the mosques dedicated to Hussein. People dressed in black attend the prayers and pay their homage to Hussein and also express their condolences.
Procession of Muharram: Islamic New Year celebrations run for ten days – it begins on the first day of the holy month of Muharram and comes to an end on the tenth day of the month. On the tenth day it is a custom for people to join in a procession on the roads carrying a replica of Hussein’s tomb. People mourn the death of the Prophet’s noble grandson who embraced martyrdom in his attempt to protect Islam and its identity. People often enact plays and perform dances which remind fellow beings of the sacrifice that Hussein and his followers made and the sufferings they had to undertake. Scenes from the Battle of Karbala too are often enacted.
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New Year 2015
With all these taken care of, now you can pay attention to the other stuffs that would make the advent of the New Year more special for you!
Reconnecting with near and dear ones:
Today’s busy world keeps us engaged round the clock. This often makes us drift away from our near and dear ones no matter how much we would like to spend quality time with them. Remedy all that this time of the year by filling the hearts of your family and friends with warmth and making them feel wanted and special. Preparing special meals, buying thoughtful gifts are just some ways of showing your love. In case your dear one is away from you, do not forget to send greetings, wishes or gifts to show your love and care.
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