To put it precisely, it is the 10th day of the Islamic month of Muharram when the Shi'a Muslims remember Husayn bin Ali, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad who sacrificed his life for the community. The followers believe him to be the worthy successor of the prophet.
This is the new years festival for the Afghans and is claimed to be the largest festival of the country as it is celebrated in all parts. It usually falls between January to March depending upon the Islamic calender. Though it is a national festival, the Mazar e Sharif marks its wholesome celebration with a 10 day gala. Known otherwise as Gul e Sorkh, this annual festival is a traditional fiesta where the artists and farmers are awarded for their achievements in respective fields. Cultural shows and dance performances are held in the evening and everyone present enjoys a great time. The famous Buzkashi games are the highlight of this celebrations.
Being the birthday of the prophet Muhammad, this festival carries lot of religious and spiritual significance. It is observed in the 12th day of the month of Rabi al Awal of the Islamic calendar (March- May). This day is marked by the visits to the religious centers and offering of prayers.
The Independence day for Afghanistan from the British rulers is known as Jesham. Celebrated on 19th August, this festival symbolize the spirit of freedom.
The holy month of Ramadan falls in between September-November (depending on the Islamic calender). During this month, the Muslims fast the entire day and indulges into several religious activities.
This festival is celebrated to mark the end of the Ramadan month (October-December, Variable based on the Islamic calendar). After a month long austerity, the people celebrates this festival with myriad food items, gifts and social occasions.
Essentially a festival of sacrifice, Eid al Adha marks the devotion of Prophet Abraham who willingly sacrificed his son Ismael for the God. During the celebrations, animals like goats and lambs are sacrificed and distributed to the poor there after. With Eid al Adha, The Hajj begins when millions of Muslim head to Mecca.
This is a regional festival of the Chak e Wardak District in Wardak Province to mark the advent of spring season on 23th April every year. It is a fun festival that includes musical events and picnics.
Also known as Orange Blossom Festival, the Mushaira is observed in 13th April in Jalalabad. It is observed with joy and gaiety. When you visit Afghanistan during any of the major festivals, you will get to witness several unseen and unheard aspects of this mystic land. So, are you ready to roll in?