'Party time' in Konya
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Feb 3, 2013 2:34 PM Last Post By: go_2
Dec 17, 2012 12:15 AM
'Party time' in KonyaIn Konya - for seb-i-arus, (the festival I go to every year.) It's the one place where dervishes (members of sufi groups, etc.) meet annually and enjoy some time together. Seb-i-arus means 'the wedding night' and it's a commemoration of Rumi's death, or 'union with the beloved', which is how the sufis term God.
The weather has been very mild but in the last two days it's dropped line a lead balloon. Mostly suuny though, and no snow as yet, though we expect it today.
On Friday I took the train to Kerman, 90 minutes away, to see the tomb of Yunus Emre, a famous Turkish poet of the 13th century. Thursday was a bus ride to Aksehir to Mulla Nasruddin's tomb, Two places I've been meaning to visit ever since I started coming here.
Every evening it's zikhr (a kind of active sufi meditation) and because it's festival time and there are heaps of Iranians in particular in town we get treated to very, very energetic drumming.
They have dafs, frame drums, with loads of little chains fixed all around the inside rim so when you get five or six of them beating out fast and furiously it sounds a little like a thunderstorm. and in and out of the drumming, like a silver thread, the sound of the ney (bamboo flute) and a lone voice singing, while the rest of us chant variations of 'Allah, Allah' or 'Allah hu' etc.
I think you have to be just a little crazy to be a dervish - so I fit in quite well - but the Iranians are (some of them) seriously crazy, and really fun to be around..
Zikhr is both envigorating and exhausting and we all go home as high as kites and sleep amazingly well.
Today is the last day of the festival, and we'll 'party' like there's no tomorrow. You'd never imagine how much fun it's possible to have without a drop of alcohol!
Last year we had a conga going across the main street some time after midnight - and other things happen here which are seemingly impossible to believe. (Suffice it to say, all those miracles which I thought had 'rational' explanations may just possibly be true. :>))
Then we'll get home about four in the morning. And I'm staying on another day or two to recover before a night bus back to Istanbul and home next Thursday.
Dec 19, 2012 12:13 AM
Dec 19, 2012 1:19 AM
2Oh, it's fab!
I get by with very minimal Turkish, as English is now the world's lingua franca (if that makes any kind of sense).
Some tourists, but mostly members of dervish groups and their friends - in their thousands and from all over the world, though mainly Iran and Turkey. There's nothing officially organised, except Sema (the whirling 'ballet' here incorporating about 35 dervishes) but every large hotel is full* and they all make a decent sized auditorium open for informal performances which you somehw get to hear about by a form of osmosis - if you're meant to go, that is. * Many if not most small ones, too.
Otherwise, and for many of us, it's zikhr every evening, which is often followed by an impromptu concert. (My head is still ringing from Monday night, which incorporated a famous Iranian singer and a dancer from Ankara. We got home at 4.00am!)
Not much going on in the daytime. I act as a sort of informal 'sheepdog', showing people around the main sites, i.e. Rumi's tomb, the cultural centre, Shemsi Tabrizi's tomb, good cheap restaurants, etc.
Today I leave Konya for another year. I have to go back then - I just can't help myself. :>))
Dec 19, 2012 10:05 AM
Dec 19, 2012 2:10 PM
4I cannot understand why so many posts here start right off without identifying the nation they are writing about. Konya, Rumi's death, Sebi's anus, Zikhr ??? Even a high school paper would demand where, what, when but not the case with so many LPTT contributors.
Dec 19, 2012 3:58 PM
Dec 19, 2012 11:50 PM
6Or...go and have a kebab.
That's how i learned where Konya is ;-)
Jan 30, 2013 1:50 AM
Feb 3, 2013 1:14 PM
Feb 3, 2013 2:34 PM
9I don't take many pictures, GG. Been going too many years for that. Plus, I'm not good at posting them on the internet.
The festival takes place every year on the same dates - December 7 to December 17 - the last date being that of Rumi's 'wedding night'. Occasionally, for special anniversaries, they start it earlier but ti always finishes on the 17th.
Turkey has been using the Gregorian calendar rather than the Islamic one since Ataturk, think.
I presume the date of Rumi's death in the 13th century corresponds to the current date. It would make sense, I suppose, for him to die in winter as he was by then quite an old man. But it's very inconvenient, being so close to Christmas. Still, I guess he wasn't thinking about westerners coming to visit and celebrate his passing...
Should anyone be interested in coming to the festival, the best (i.e. cheapest) place to stay is Ulusan hotel. It's the only one that doesn't put up its prices during the festival. (50 TL for a single room last December) It's also pretty central, though difficult to find as it's off the main street. And you have to book early - Ali starts taking bookings for the festival from the first week of October.
There are a couple of other cheap-ish hotels, but they're nowhere near as nice.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$133.71 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$375.50 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$172.69 per night