22 September 2003, 22:14

Muslim holidays

Muslim holidays are commemorative days traditionally celebrated by Islam's adherents; they are accompanied by definite religious acts and rituals. The main Muslim holidays are Kurban-bayram (eid al-adha / id al-sdha); Uraza-bairam (eid al-fitr / id al-fitr); and Rajab-bairam (miraj) dedicated to Prophet Muhammad's miraculous journey to Jerusalem and ascension to Heaven where he appeared before Allah, saw the hell and the paradise, and was then moved to Earth, on which legend reports. The holidays also include Muhammad's birthday (mawlid); and the night of predestination or the Night of Power (Lailat al Qadr) dedicated to the beginning of sending down the Koran to Muhammad. Celebration of the Imam Hussein (also known as Husayn/Husain) commemoration day (Ashura) is widespread among Shi'i Muslims, along with a series of other prominent events. The first three mentioned holidays are state ones in Muslim countries. Among the holidays celebrated as Muslim there are some having nothing to deal with religion. Such is the solar New Year (novruz/navruz) the Persian-speaking world had celebrated even before Christ. It coincides with the spring equinox. Local government in some regions of the Russian Federation has declared Kurban-bayram a day off.

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