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The Prophet’s birthday

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It may have been over 1400 years ago, people throughout the Islamic world will be celebrating the birthday of Muhammad ibn Abdullah again soon. In countries such as Pakistan, India and Indonesia, homes and mosques are decorated and people take part in carnivalesque street processions. In other areas, it is a quiet, respectful event where children recite poetry and parents tell children stories about the Prophet’s birth, youth and adult life.

In Arabic, this day is referred to as ‘Mawlid’, short for ‘Mawlid an-Nabi’ (literally ‘Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad’). The Turkish name for the celebration is ‘Mevlid-i Serif’ (literally ‘The Blessed Birth’). The birthday is in Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month of the Islamic calendar. Shia Muslims observe the birthday on the 17th of this month, while Sunni Muslims celebrate it on the 12th of the month. This year, in Turkey the 12th of Rabi al-awwal will be 4th of February in 2012.

Because Turkey is a secular state with no official state religion, Mevlid-i Serif is not a public holiday in Turkey. However, the majority of the population is Sunni Muslim and will celebrate the 4th of February with speeches by religious leaders, illuminated mosques, poetry recitals and delicacies. If you want to experience an authentic celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, make use of our late deals on flights to Bodrum, Izmir, Dalaman or Antalya.

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