Decline of New Year’s Eve celebration in Iraq coincided with the Ashura

Posted on December 31, 2011


Handsome as from Baghdad
GMT 1:30:00 2011 Saturday, December 31
There is an ideological understanding among Iraqis for religious occasions, preparations for the gala New Year’s celebrations, where away from the public, and takes into account the Christians coincided with the anniversary of Ashura and the conservative agenda. ANmost Iraqis will welcome the new year at home together with friends and family.
Preparing a lot of Iraqis, especially young people, of whom to spend New Year’s Eve in the group sessions in homes, cafes, and squares in the centers of cities, but coincided with the appropriate ceremony of Ashura religious, limiting many of the events festive occasion, especially in central and southern regions.

Although the young Iraqi haunted desire to celebrate New Year’s Eve every year, but warns to express his feelings because of the calls calls for a ban on the celebration of this occasion by some hard-line religious parties.

 Such calls were heard by a university student Amer Abdullah (23 years) between now and then, but it is celebrated and his friends for New Year’s Eve each year in one of the houses, which are preparing to soft drinks and juices in addition to eating the Iraqi and pies, candy, and stay until dawn chatting in front of the TV screen.

Muslim youth celebrate Christmas

 Amer says that the celebration of many young Muslim Christmas, not peppered with luxury many public celebrations or gatherings, but is simple in cafes, homes and social clubs.

 He continues: “I feel beautiful by the new year, and I am obsessed with achieving the aspirations that could not be achieved in the past year.”

And celebrates the happy full, a student at a secondary Baghdad, Holiday Birth with his family and his family and there is no public ceremony or Christmas tree, reasoned: “because we are Muslims, we share the sons of the Christian community celebrated Christmas. And I congratulate my fellow Christians in the school holiday, and I hope to realize their aspirations “.

On the other hand, says the employee virgin branch of Karbala (108 km south west of Baghdad), they are in the New Year’s Eve regain its achievements and successes and failures over the past year, and celebrates with her ​​family and relatives in the home through the preparation of confectionery, food and follow-up to celebrations of the world the way across the television screens. ”

أ The young man Haj Amin, who returned from the State of Sweden to celebrate with his family and friends, Christmas, says: “I am visit to Iraq on two occasions, the first part in the ceremony of Ashura in Najaf, and also to spend New Year’s between my parents.”  And explains how the events are characterized by festivals of New Year in Sweden, but he says that “the cold weather and a sense of alienation makes the celebration devoid of feelings and sensations that ever growing and you are at home.”

And follow-Haj: “There is no doubt recall that most expatriates home in the New Year’s Eve and not, as some imagine, but the Iraqis in exile rarely organize private parties and often gather together to enjoy the occasion.”

 He used a lot of Iraqis, especially children of the Christian community, the festivities to celebrate New Year’s Day.But this phenomenon subsided after 2003, because of the conservative agenda and the deteriorating security situation which caused the death and displacement of thousands of Christians.

 The statistics indicate that the number of Christians before entering the U.S. to Iraq in 2003 was in the range of 850 thousand stationed in Baghdad, Mosul, Kirkuk and Basra, but the number has dropped considerably in recent years due to migration of tens of thousands.

And except for Baghdad, where a race between the organizers of the concerts in the hotels and attractions and entertainment, most of the cities of Iraq is not experiencing this phenomenon, but a limited extent, and many prefer to celebrate at home, but some of them refuse to celebrate the occasion because it coincides with the occasion of Ashura.

 Not celebrate publicly

 Decided to Christians in some cities such as Basra, Babil, Karbala, from years of non-public celebration by the way, preferring to perform ritual ceremonies inside the houses and churches, as it coincides with the anniversary of the “Ashura” Good to the Shiite community, which marks the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussein and his brother Abbas, in an incident of Karbala.

But the celebrations are obvious features in the areas inhabited by the Christian community, such as the (industry) in Baghdad, and his Aankawa Christian-majority in the province of Kurdistan.

 Says Mary Hanna (40 years) from Baghdad, said Christians in Baghdad is well prepared for the occasion, where everyone Celebes holiday clothes and wearing a Santa Claus, children’s clothing, candles and alertness.  Mary and expects to see a celebration of the new year, compared to the greater momentum of previous years.

And follows: “It will be celebrations of security coupled with a plan sponsored by the stakeholders, where the police will be deployed near the Christian areas and churches in case of emergency.”

 Muhammad and chose yes (teacher, 35 years old) to establish a small ceremony at his home in Baghdad, Karada Mariam in the presence of friends and relatives where he was fluent playing the lute.

 And hints at the observer a lot of the features of the New Year in parts of Baghdad, which infested the Christian community, but these appearances seem to be very rare in most other cities of Iraq.  In some urban markets puts the owners of shops and Santa Claus decorations to welcome visitors.

The Kazem al-Bayati, a shop owner (30 years) has decided to spend New Year’s Eve with friends in the community center (Casino) to play billiards and smoking water pipe, and watch the celebrations of the world via television. Follow-Bayati, “is my mother some dishes and desserts often discuss during the night of New Year’s Eve and Akhvaqati my successes in the past year with my friends and their views were used.”

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