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Iraq holidays and festivals


The people of Iraq celebrate several holidays throughout the year. They start the year of by celebrating New Years or " Christian" New Year on January 1st. In large cities of Iraq, social clubs are packed on New Year's Eve and parties are thrown. It is a tradition for young people to stand out in the streets and make a lot of noise to " express themselves" during the early hours of New Years Day.


Nine days later is Islamic New Year because the lunar year is 10 shorter days than the solar year.

This holiday is more like a religious ceremony than a party event. Iraqi people go to mosques or read the Koran. The first ten days are seen as a time of grief and remembrance of Imam Hussein who was the grandson of Prophet Mohammed.

January 19th is known as the Day of Ashura. This day is a national holiday in Iraq and several other countries like Trinidad, Jamaica and Tobago. All religious communities participate in this ceremony.

This day is a mourning for Husayn ibn Ali who was killed and beheaded for fighting tyranny and opposed unjust rule of the Umayyads. Ashura means "tenth" in Arabic and scholars have different opinions on why its called this.

February 8th makes Iraq's Revolution Anniversary when they became independent

The Prophet Mohammed's Birthday is on March 19th and schools, companies and homes are garnished with colors to celebrate.

July 31st is the anniversary for the ascension of prophet Mohammed and is an official holiday for employees at ministries, public authorities and other state departments.

October 1 is Eld ul-fitr that marks the end of Ramadan. Eid means " festivity" in Arabic while Fitr means " to break fast".

The holiday is the breaking of the fasting period. The holiday last three days and starts off by eating a small breakfast and attending Eid prayer at mosques. After prayer people visit relatives or some visit graveyards.

The last holiday of the year is Eid al Adha which is a festival of scrafice as a commemoration of god's forgiveness of Abraham.