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