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08/05/2010

Ramadan, the fasting and its tradition in Iraq

We will have Bon Festival, a Buddhist function in mid August in Japan. Most people would visit their ancestor's grave. Anyway, it should not be well known that people in Iraq also have custom to visit family grave.

They visit two times a year; the first day after Ramadan (=called 'Eid', a festival to celebrate the end of Ramadan), and the first day of Hajj (= Pilgrimage to mecca). Christian era counts 365 days for a year, but Islamic era (=Hijrah) counts 354 days for a year. Basis Christian era, we feel like the first day of Eid and Hajj changes every year. For this year, as Ramadan period was 30 days from August 11th 2010 A.D, Eid started from September 10th, and Hajj was from November 16th.

They don't have custom to put flowers and other offerings on graves just like Japanese people do. Instead a passage from Koran should be read out by a member of family, or sometime by Mullah, a man well familiarized with Islamic commandment and doctrine, or by a beggar.   

Incidentally, remains are wrapped with white cotton cloth after being cleansed. Each remains are committed to the earth, lied in the direction their heads toward Mecca. For Shia Muslims, being buried in Najaf prefecture is highly boasted as they have first Imam (=leader) of Shia Ali's grave there. 


August 5, 2010 in Iraq |