23.9 C
Sunday, June 16, 2024

Whirling Dervishes In Istanbul – Dervish Ceremony Information

Must read

Post author SJ

Written by our native knowledgeable SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is understood, has been touring the Balkans & past since 2000. She now shares her ardour for touring together with her husband & youngsters.

Right here is all that you must know concerning the Whirling Dervishes in Istanbul. This mystical expertise is a part of a religious ritual, and you may see this non secular ceremony whereas in Türkiye.

Have you ever ever heard of the Istanbul Whirling Dervishes? This most mystical dance is a part of a religious ritual, and you may see this non secular ceremony in Istanbul. This text will discover the historical past and significance of those whirling dervishes and what witnessing a Whirling Dervish efficiency is like.

Skip Forward To My Recommendation Right here!

Whirling Dervishes Of Istanbul

Nightlife In Istanbul - Whirling Dervish_Turkey

The Whirling Dervishes of Istanbul are a mystical Sufi order who practices a type of devotional dancing referred to as Sema.

The semazen, or Dervish, whirls constantly for a number of minutes, typically changing into misplaced in a trance-like state. The Sema is regarded as a type of dhikr, or remembrance of Allah, and is believed to assist the Dervish obtain fana fi’l-Allah or annihilation of the self in God.

The Order of the Mevlevi was based in 1273 by a Persian Sufi poet and scholar, Rumi.

The Mevlevi Dervishes have been primarily based in Konya, Türkiye, however unfold to different components of the Ottoman Empire. Right this moment, a number of Mevlevi lodges (tekkes) in Istanbul the place semazen might be seen performing the Sema ritual.

Whirling Dervishes Ceremony. Sufi Whirling Dervishes Ceremony at Galata Mawlawi House Museum.

The Sema ritual begins with the recitation of Islamic prayer. The dervishes then take away their black cloaks and beneath are their white skirts.

They start to whirl slowly at first, regularly growing their spinning velocity. As they spin, they increase their proper arms and switch their left palms upward towards heaven, symbolizing their submission to God.

The music turns into extra intense because the spinning dervishes attain a state of ecstasy. On the finish of the ritual, the dervishes return to their authentic positions and exchange their cloaks.

Historical past Of The Whirling Dervishes

Semazen, Dervishes. Whirling Dervishes Ceremony in Istanbul, Turkey. Mevlana Dervish Dancing.

The Whirling Dervishes are a spiritual order of Sufi Muslims.

The order is understood for its distinctive type of Islamic mysticism. The Whirling Dervishes are only one instance of the numerous totally different Sufi orders that exist inside Islam. Sufism is usually described as the paranormal or inside dimension of Islam. Its adherents imagine that it gives a direct path to God that bypasses the necessity for non secular rituals or legal guidelines.

Sufi orders just like the Whirling Dervishes have been persecuted at numerous instances all through historical past, each by orthodox Muslims who view them as heretical and by secular governments who see them as a menace to social stability.

In recent times, nonetheless, there was a resurgence of curiosity in Sufism inside Islam and amongst individuals of different faiths who’re interested in its message of affection and tolerance.

Manufacturers We Use And Belief


Rituals And Traditions Of The Whirling Dervish Ceremony

The Whirling Dervish ceremony is a Sufi ritual that has been carried out for hundreds of years in Turkey. It’s a meditative and religious observe that entails spinning round in circles whereas chanting and praying. The purpose of the ritual is to realize a state of spiritual ecstasy and oneness with God.

Through the ceremony, individuals put on white robes and spin round clockwise. The spinning is alleged to characterize the earth’s rotation across the solar, and the round actions are supposed to symbolize the infinite nature of God. As they spin, they recite prayers and hymns.

The Whirling Dervish ceremony is an integral a part of Sufi tradition and custom. It’s a manner for believers to attach with God and obtain a state of enlightenment.

The place To See The Whirling Dervishes In Istanbul

If you’re in Istanbul and in search of a novel and uniquely Turkish expertise, you’ll want to e book forward! This mystical non secular dance might be seen at numerous venues across the metropolis.

Galata Mevlevi Museum

Semazen, Dervishes. Whirling Dervishes Ceremony in Istanbul.
One such place to see the whirling dervishes is undoubtedly on the Galata Mevlevihanesi, also called the Mevlevi Museum. This museum is devoted to the reminiscence of Rumi, a Thirteenth-century poet and Sufi saint who is taken into account the founding father of the Mevlevi Sufi Order. Tickets promote out weeks upfront, so plan forward.

EMAV Sema 

For those who’re in search of a extra intimate setting, attempt to get considered one of a number of reserved seats for company to the personal Sema ceremony. Full with Zikr chanting; the EMAV Sema possibility may be very conventional and extremely advisable by my native pal. Sadly, the timings didn’t work for my final two journeys to Istanbul – possibly I can do this one subsequent time. 

Word: photographs and movies are allowed to be taken. You’ll be able to transfer across the room at your pleasure. 


Whirling Dervish Istanbul-6

Like the youngsters and I did this 12 months, you can even catch the whirling dervishes at Hodjapasha Cultural Heart. This efficiency area is situated inside an Ottoman-era Turkish bathtub home.

It may well accommodate as much as 200 individuals, making it an excellent possibility if you wish to rise up shut and private with these unbelievable dancers. Some say that is “touristy,” however we very a lot loved the expertise. The seats have been comfy, we have been very near the spinning, and the acoustics of the musicians on stage have been top-notch. 

Word: photographs and movies should not allowed to be taken. You additionally should keep in your seat for the whole period. 

Discover Ticket Worth Data

Throughout excessive season, it’s essential to e book whirling dance seats effectively upfront. Particularly on the Hodjapasha dance theater as it’s the most well-known.



Irrespective of the place you select to see them, watching the whirling dervishes is an expertise you received’t quickly neglect.

What To Anticipate At A Whirling Dervish Expertise

The ceremony begins with the semazen (whirling Dervish) getting into and taking his place on a small platform within the middle of the room. He’s adopted by the sheykh (chief), who sits on a barely raised space at one aspect of the platform. The sheykh leads the group in prayers and readings from non secular texts.

When they’re prepared, they start to whirl slowly at first, regularly increase velocity as they lose themselves in prayer. They proceed till they attain a state. The expertise for us on the HodjaPasha lasted lower than an hour, however I’ve heard the one on the EMAV goes for nearly twice as lengthy.

Music And Dance In The Ceremony

The whirling dervishes of Istanbul are a sight to behold. Yearly, hundreds of individuals come from world wide to witness this mystical trance-like state that the dervishes enter.

However what precisely is that this state? And the way does one obtain it?

The reply lies within the music and dance.

The music of the whirling dervishes is predicated on the Sufi custom of sema, which entails chanting and devotional singing. One of these music is designed to induce a meditative state, which is important for the dervishes to enter into their trance.

The mixture of music, chanting, and dancing helps the dervishes obtain a deep meditative state during which they really feel a way of oneness with the universe. On this state, they will attain the next stage of consciousness and join with God.

Costumes Of The Whirling Dervishes

Whirling Dervishes Ceremony. Sufi Whirling Dervishes Ceremony at Galata Mawlawi House Museum.

The Whirling Dervishes are recognized for his or her distinctive costumes and whirling dances. The dervishes put on white robes, representing the purity of their hearts, they usually additionally put on conical tall hats, representing the tombstones of Sufi saints. Some carry picket staffs, which they use to maintain steadiness whereas they whirl.

The Whirling Dervishes are an vital a part of Turkish tradition, and their ceremonies make a really memorable expertise!

Attention-grabbing To Know

Within the Sema ceremony, the left hand and the palm of the best hand have symbolic significance:

  • The Left Hand: the left hand of a Whirling Dervish is often prolonged outward and upward, with the left palm dealing with upward. This gesture symbolizes the person’s readiness to obtain religious blessings from the divine and to share these blessings with the world. It represents the openness of the guts to God’s grace and the giving of that grace to others
  • The Palm of the Proper Hand: the hand is held with the best palm dealing with downward, pointing towards the earth. This hand gesture symbolizes the Dervish’s connection to and accountability for the earthly world. It signifies their obligation to serve humanity, to carry the divine blessings they obtain throughout their whirling observe all the way down to the bodily realm, and to assist others on their religious journey
  • Within the Sema ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes, the place and motion of the toes additionally carry symbolic that means:
  • Proper Foot: the best foot of a Whirling Dervish is positioned firmly on the bottom. This represents the fabric world, earthly existence, and the person’s connection to the bodily realm. It symbolizes the Dervish’s recognition of their obligations and duties of their each day life, together with their interactions with society and the world
  • Left Foot: the left foot is raised off the bottom and stays barely elevated through the whirling. It signifies the Dervish’s detachment from the fabric world and their aspiration to achieve the next religious realm. The elevated left foot represents the soul’s journey towards God and its striving for religious transcendence

Wrap Up On The Mystical Dance

By means of their sleek whirling actions and exquisite music, the Whirling Dervishes of Istanbul supply a really mesmerizing expertise. Not solely do they transport us to a different realm by means of their spirituality, however additionally they present a possibility for self-reflection and contemplation. Whether or not you admire Turkish tradition or simply in search of one thing totally different to expertise whereas in Istanbul, witnessing the dhikr ritual of the Whirling Dervishes might be an enriching and memorable expertise.

You’ll be able to resolve for your self what the perfect Whirling Dervish present is to see, and whenever you do, tell us.


What are the Whirling Dervishes?

The Whirling Dervishes of Istanbul are a mystical Sufi order who practices a type of devotional dancing referred to as Sema.

Sufis observe Sufism – an 800 centuries-old mystical motion shaped inside Islam.

What’s the function of whirling in Sufism?

These working towards Sufism use the whirling motion as a type of meditation with a view to commune with the Divine. Those that carry out the whirling achieve this to achieve a trance-like state.

Why ought to I see a Whirling Dervishes present?

The cultural present is mesmerizing, and UNESCO declared the ceremony an Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It’s a phenomenal cultural expertise in Istanbul.

The place can I see a Whirling Turkish dance in Istanbul?

  • Galata Mevlevihanesi, also called the Mevlevi Museum
  • Hodjapasha Tradition Heart
  • EMAV Sema
  • Şirkeci Practice Station (close to Topkapi Palace)  – **at the moment happening in Hodjapasha Tradition Heart whereas the station is in renovation

Can I take pictures throughout a Whirling Dervish present?

No – in actual fact, company are requested to not applaud, discuss, take photos or use smartphones.

Are the Whirling Dervish reveals actual?

No – they’re performances giving guests a glance into what the actual observe entails.

How lengthy does a Whirling Dervish present final?

Most reveals final roughly 1 hour.

How a lot does a Whirling Dervish present price?

You’ll be able to plan on spending about 30-35 euros per ticket.

How briskly does a Whirling Dervish spin?

30-40 rotations per minute

Can girls develop into Whirling Dervishes?

Solely males have been allowed to bop for a few years, however within the 2000s, some Sufi communities began permitting feminine dervishes.


- Advertisement -spot_img

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article