Friday, January 18, 2008

Hreeseh

The first day of the Hejira new year marks the beginning of `Ashoura, ten days of mourning in remembrance of Imam Hussein, son of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib, whose followers founded Shi'ism. It culminates on the tens day with passion plays to reenact the massacre of Hussein and his followers by Yazid Ibn Mu`awiya, the founder of the Umayyad dynasty. The `Ashoura play is a bloody and messy affair with much chest beating. The ten days of `Ashoura are also the occasion for making and distributing hreeseh, a stew of meat and wheat cooked in large pots right in the streets. Passers-by are handed plates to eat and remember the soul of Hussein. It is made in the villages, but also in the Shi'a neighborhoods of Beirut. Rana Hayek reports on hreeseh in `Ashoura in Beirut's Khandak al Ghameek neighborhood, with photo.

3 comments:

bech said...

interesting because hreeseh is also done on the occasion of some christian celebration, but I clearly can't remember which one...

I remember how they cook the chicken and the wheat for hours over a fire and then how I preferred to just eat the wheat and was really bothered not to be able to separate them from each other (which is the purpose of the hours of preparation I suppose)

Anonymous said...

Ashoura is celebrated by Muslims by fasting (not eating) because it was the day when Prophet was saved from drowning and Pharoah was drowned.

Anonymous said...

Ashoura is celebrated by Muslims by fasting (not eating) because it was the day when Prophet Moses was saved from drowning and Pharoah was drowned.