The whirling dervishes of Istanbul

The Galata Mevlevi Museum | Istanbul | February 2020


A few months ago I had the good fortune to visit the beautiful city of Istanbul, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and I didn’t want to miss the chance to visit the Whirling Dervishes.

It was more than just a dance, a real religious ceremony started by a great Sufi poet called Jelaleddin Rumi who lived 800 years ago.

Followers of the Mevlevi order believe closeness to god happens via prayer, chants and a whirling dance.

The ceremony itself lasted over an hour and the entire arena was transfixed and mesmerised; the result was a joy to see; elegance, poise and to be able to hold the rotations for so long, with such apparent ease, a great physical feat.

I hope the video does it justice.

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