The Middle East is a region between the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the line drawn by the border between Iran and Pakistan. The Middle East is part of West Asia with Asian Turkey, Transcaucasia and Egyptian Sinai.

The area concerned includes at least the Fertile Crescent (Jordan, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Turkey and Lebanon), the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait) and the valley of the Nile (Egypt). We sometimes add the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan (legacy of the definition inherited from the British Empire), the Maghreb States (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Libya).

middle east celebrations

Holidays in the Middle East

Holidays of the month

  • March 2, 2024 (2 events)

    March 2, 2024

    baloch day

    Today, the Baloch highlight their songs, know-how and dances through a cultural day. According to Baluch tradition, their ancestors came from Aleppo in what is now Syria. They claim to be descendants of Amir Hamza, uncle of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, who settled in Halab (present-day Aleppo). They then migrated to the Caspian coasts. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #2March #baluch #baloch #iran #BalochDay

    March 2, 2024

    The nineteen day fast

    Today, Baha'is begin the 19-day fast. This spiritual retreat invigorates the soul and brings people closer to God. This retreat was established by the Báb and Baháʼu'lláh, the founders. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #2March #bahai #nineteendayfeast

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  • March 11, 2024 (1 event)

    March 11, 2024

    Fravardigan Muktad

    Today, the Zoroasters celebrate Fravardigan or Muktad. For ten days, Zoroastrians often take time off work, pray profusely, recite the five Gathas, and ensure their homes are thoroughly cleaned. They prepare daily samples of sacred food enjoyed by their deceased ancestors during their lifetime, and bring them to the place of worship, for them to taste during daily ceremonies. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #fravardigan #muktad #zoroaster #11March

  • March 16, 2024 (2 events)

    March 16, 2024

    Hamaspathmaidyem Gahambar

    Aujourd'hui, les Zoroastres fêtent Hamaspathmaidyem Gahambar (durant Muktad). Les maisons et les temples sont soigneusement nettoyés ; car on pense que les âmes des êtres chers décédés (fravashis) visitent le monde physique pendant cette période, pour bénir et protéger les vivants. #mythologie #mythe #légende #calendrier #zoroastre #16mars #HamaspathmaidyemGahambar

    March 16, 2024

    Parwanaya

    Today, the Mandaeans celebrate Parwanaya. These 5 epagomenals (days at the end of the 8th month) mark Hayyi Rabbi, the creation of the universe by the angels. This festival dates back to the rites of ancient Egypt forming the same principle. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #Mandeism #Parwanava #HayyiRabbi #March 16

  • March 21, 2024 (2 events)

    March 21, 2024

    Naw-Rúz

    Today, Baha'is celebrate Naw-Ruz, the New Year. This festival follows nine days of vacation with songs, dances and music with of course #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #nawruz

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    March 21, 2024

    nowruz nowruz

    Today, the people of Greater Persia celebrate Nowruz, the new year. At least three millennia old, this festival marking the equinox means new light. Very widespread in the East, traditions differ between people. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar 1TP5QMarch 21 #nowruz #norouz

  • 26 March 2024 (1 event)

    26 March 2024

    Khordad Sal

    Aujourd’hui , les zoroastres fêtent l’anniversaire de leur prophète (Khordad Sal). Khordad signifie perfection, et il est de coutume ce jour-là de visiter le Temple du Feu pour remercier Ahura Mazda, le nom persan du Dieu unique, d’avoir offert à l’humanité le cadeau idéal du Prophète Zarathushtra. Ses partisans participent à un jashan ou cérémonie d’action de grâces ; écoutez les histoires de sa naissance et de sa vie miraculeuses; puis célébrez avec un somptueux repas communautaire, un verre et une danse. #mythologie #mythe #légende #calendrier #26mars #khordadsal

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Cultural areas of the Middle East

Religions in the Middle East are historically diverse: beyond the three great monotheistic religions and their respective confessions stemming from the Abrahamic tradition, many other religions have developed since Antiquity, some of which are still practiced in the 21st century.

Babism or the Babi faith (Persian: Arabic: بابی ها Bábí há) is a reforming and millenarian religious movement founded in Iran on May 23, 1844 (5 Jamádíyu'l-Avval 1260 AD), by a young merchant from the city of Shiraz, named Siyyid 'Alí Muḥammad Shírází (1819-1850) and nicknamed the Báb.

Bahaism also known as the Bahá'í religion (pronounced baˈhaːʔiː), Behaism or Bahá'i faith is a monotheistic religion whose goal is to unite humanity in its diversity (this perspective is already found in the poet saint Kabir born in the 15th century in India). It was founded by the Persian Mirzâ Husayn 'Alî (1817-1892) in 1863. This name is derived from the nickname given to its founder: Bahá'u'lláh (in Arabic, "Glory of God" or "splendor of God" ). Bahá'ís are the disciples of Bahá'u'lláh.

Gnosticism is a religious movement bringing together various doctrines from the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East which are generally characterized by the belief that men are divine souls imprisoned in a material world created by an evil or imperfect god called the demiurge. The movement reached its peak during the 2nd century. The demiurge can be seen as an incarnation of evil, or as a good but imperfect god.

He exists alongside another supreme being, more distant and difficult to know, who embodies good. In order to free himself from the lower material world, man needs gnosis, that is, the esoteric spiritual knowledge available through direct experience or knowledge (gnosis) of the supreme being. Jesus of Nazareth is identified by certain Gnostic cults as an incarnation of the supreme being who incarnated to bring gnosis to men.

Zoroastrianism is a monotheistic religion of which Ahura Mazdâ (pehlevi: Ohrmazd) is the god, solely responsible for bringing order to the initial chaos, the creator of heaven and Earth. Zoroastrianism is a reform of Mazdaism, a reform prophesied by Zarathustra, whose name was transcribed Zoroaster by the Greeks (Ζωροάστρης, Zōroastrēs). This reform, founded during the 1st millennium BC. B.C. in present-day Iranian Kurdistan (Western Iran), became the official religion of Iranians under the Sassanid dynasty (224-651), until Islam arrived, although this religion was successful to blend into Iranian cultural heritage.