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Whirling Dervishes in Istanbul

Communication with God trough dance

Istanbul is one of the top destinations in the world, famous for its stunning monuments and their inhabitant's love for life, how they party and seem like they enjoy every bit of it. Although very diverse culture, strong believes and passion for their religion, somehow Turkish have always managed to keep a very open minded view of life, accepting differences in other cultures, and politely representing theirs. And here is one of many traditional celebration they have, Whirling Dervish ceremony , which is highly spiritual celebration of existence, performed by members of the Mawlawi Order, founded back in 13th century in the Turkish city of Konya.

All the dancers are wearing white gowns, which billow out as they whirl, there are also black capes and brown felt caps as a symbol of death, the grave and the tombstone. This dance is called Sema, Sema represents the mystical journey of humankind's spiritual ascent through mind and love to "perfection", the dervish deserts his ego and finds the being in the service of the whole of creation, to all creatures without discrimination of believes, races, classes and nations.

This festival starts every year on the 10th of December lasting one week, it ends on a spectacular note as on this day Mevlana's union with Allah is celebrated, if you happen to be in Turkey during this time , it's a great chance to get little closer to their culture. The Whirling Dervishes was dedicate to the death anniversary of the 13th century Sufi Rumi, who believed that the only communication with God was possible through the dance, and so this dance was born, watching them dancing with their swirling white flowing robes and black cloaks and conical headgear, it's pretty impressive.

Watching them moving in the dance with their white gowns, and even in the shadows of the stage their white robes appear luminous. All the dancers are famous Whirling Dervishes from all over the Turkey. They perform in Konya, easy to reach from Istanbul on Saturday night in the grandest Whirling Dervish hall. This is Turkey's most Islamic city, a city where you will see women with their heads wrapped tightly drawn scarves, men sport beards, where Muslim call for prayer from shining mosques, medieval bazaars, bars selling delicious kebabs...Take a part in one of the greatest festivals in Turkey, and find your maturity and greater perfection,through this spiritual journey.

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