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 Dec 23 2009 

 

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Hosay begins tomorrow

Wayne Bowman wayne.bowman@trinidadexpress.com

 

 

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IN THE GROOVE: Members of the Unity Tassa Group practise for the Hosay commemoration.

While some people will be putting final touches to preparations for Christmas morning and others celebrating the holiday either at church or in the bars, members of the Shi’ite community in St James will be commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussain who was the grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam.

The second Hosay commemoration for 2009 begins with Flag Night on tomorrow and continues until December 27.

The small tadjahs representing the killing of Hussain’s infant son, Ali Asgar, who was pinned to his father’s arm by an arrow shot by Caliph Yazid of Syria, will take to the streets on Christmas night, while the large tadjahs representing Hussain will come out on Boxing night.

The procession will have its final run on December 27 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. when the tadjas and moons will be taken through the streets of St James and to the Queen’s Royal College grounds before being returned to their respective yards for the final time.

Because it’s the Christmas weekend the police have instructed Hosay participants on the first two nights - Christmas Eve and Christmas nights - they are not to come out on the streets before midnight and are to disperse by 3 a.m. This is because of church services that will be taking place in St James on these nights. They will, however, come out at the traditional 10 p.m. and remain until 3 a.m. on other nights.

There was a Hosay observance early in January this year. The reason there are two commemorations this year is because the Islamic or lunar calendar, which Muslims use for religious purposes, is shorter than the Gregorian calendar. The Lunar calendar drifts ahead between 10 to 12 days each year. For example, the New Year according to the Lunar Calendar began on December 29, 2008.

The occurrence of two Hosay observances in a single year comes around every 40 years or so. Hosay 2010 will take place between December 14 and 17

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