A nations cultural uniqueness shows the world the beauty of their people. The creative expression of regional customs breathe a richness into a society that touches on what makes that country special. A nations customs are its heartbeat. Here’s a window into the heartbeat of Algerian culture.
Algeria celebrates a variety of holidays each year. January 1st kicks off the list of public holidays with New Year’s Day. Mouloud is observed on a rotating day each February, as the birth of the prophet Muhammad. Drawn from the Arabic word meaning to give birth, Mouloud is celebrated in a festive manner. July 5th marks the anniversary of Algerian independence. Street celebrations can be seen with citizens dressed in green, the Algerian national color. The mood is festive and honored with intense passion. Music and cultural events are put together to help raise the yearly revelry. Additional holidays observed on a fixed day are Labor Day (May 1st)and the Anniversary of the Revolution on November 1st. Certain annual holidays are observed on a movable basis. These particular days correspond to the moon phases on the calender for that year.
Ramadan is an example of such a time. The month long prayer and fasting falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During Ramdan, participants practice patience, humility and spirituality by fasting from dawn until the sun sets. Ramadan moves each year with the phases of the moon. It’s a spiritual month of revelation, forgiveness and guidance. The holiday of Eid ul-Fitr signals the end of the fasting, falling on the first new moon of the following month. Eid ul-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast)holds a special celebration of feasting, charity, communal prayers and more.
Other holidays that shift with the moon phases are Islamic New Year, Ashoura and Eid ul-Adha.