Are you searching for an alternative way to explore local culture while in Istanbul? Attend the Whirling Dervishes show in Istanbul and immerse yourself into this fascinating and interesting tradition. The costumes, lights, music, and dances create a truly magical and mystical atmosphere. This activity is ideal for people of all ages as it is able to offer you a memorable experience and lots of unique feelings.
The activity begins during the evening and is available on a daily basis. When you arrive at the location you will be impressed by the building itself and the flawless mystical atmosphere that has. Hodjapasha Culture Centre is located in the city centre and features an outstanding exterior and interior design. In fact, it is 550 years old Hammam that was turned into a cultural centre. This location is ideal for a show like that as it able to offer an ample sense of mysticism, which is one of the main features of the Dervishes’ ceremony and ideology.
Dervishes are Sufi Muslim Ascetics who are characterized by the extreme poverty and austerity that practise in their lives. According to their beliefs, the ultimate aim in life is to reach God by deserting ego and practising physical activity. It is believed that Dervishes have superpowers and can do miracles because their lifestyle allows them to be close to God.
The show has an approximate duration of two hours and the main highlight is the Mevlevi Sema Ceremony. The ceremony aims in offering you a symbolic expression and representation of the stages that Dervishes are passing in order to reach God. As the ceremony starts a prayer to the Prophet Mohammed takes place. After the prayer, a solo follows just before the impressive show. Then, the head Dervish indicates the places where the Dervishes should go and then the infamous Circling of Veled begins. This impressive phase of the ceremony will be an amazing experience for you as it symbolizes the resurrection from the grave. As you observe the performance, you will receive a unique blend of emotions and get really excited by the incredible history of Dervishes.
An interesting aspect in the ceremony has to do with the clothes of the Dervishes. This is because they are associated with hidden meaning. The cloak symbolizes the grave and the hat represents the gravestone. At a point, the Dervishes will gradually remove their cloak as a representation of their spiritual freedom. The music is also thrilling due to its ability to create a mystical atmosphere. This show is a unique experience able to upgrade your vacations. By the end of the show you will be overwhelmed with emotions.
Tuesday 19:00 Friday 17:00
Tuesday / Thursday / Saturday 19:00
The Whirling Dervishes in Istanbul is one of the must-see shows when on holidays. Except from being able to fill your evening with joy and positive feelings, the show is in fact an alternative cultural exploration. Impressive costumes, traditional music, an exceptional atmosphere, and lots of history hints are some of the things you should expect when joining this show. Get ready for an incredibly immersive experience like no other.
Hodjapasha Culture Centre: The show takes place on a daily basis during the evening time. One of the most notable highlights is the actual place that hosts the ceremony. The Hodjapasha Culture Centre used to be a 550 years old hammam, which was transformed into a cultural centre. The structure itself creates a truly unique, mystical atmosphere which is very important for such a show. In fact, mysticism is one of the core concepts in the Dervishes ideology.
Dervishes’ ideology: This spectacular show forms an amazing opportunity to understand the broader ideology of the Dervishes and their lifestyle. In fact, Dervishes are Sufi Muslims Ascetics who are known for their strict lifestyle. Dervishes are self-imposing a strict austerity that is close to poverty. According to their ideology, austerity and physical activity are the means to establish a closer connection with God. Thus, they are always trying to desert their ego. In reality, many people believe that Dervishes have superpowers and are capable of doing miracles. Dervishes have advanced spiritual and physical capabilities and in order to perform this show, are going through an intense and strict training.
The show: Dervishes begin to perform the ceremony by wearing specific clothes that hide multiple meaning. In fact, the cloak symbolizes the grave and the hat symbolizes the gravestone. The ceremony starts with a prayer and then, the leading Dervish, indicates the points where the Dervishes should be during the show. The famous Circling of Veled dance is the next act to be presented. At this phase you will be thrilled by the charming atmosphere and the whole experience.
Symbolization: The show is an actual representation of the stages that Dervishes go through, in order to reach their ultimate goal, the connection with God. At a point, the Dervishes will start to gradually remove their cloak as a symbolization of the resurrection from the grave. The music and the lights, in conjunction with the dances presented by the Dervishes will make you feel relaxed and full of positive emotions.
Phenomenal!!! One of the best experiences ever! Saw many pictures of this performance and wanted to attend. The location was breath-taking, once we entered, we felt the vibes of the place and realised it was going to be an incredible show. The dervishes performed everything to perfection. Their dances filled us with emotions and in the end, I was overwhelmed with the whole show. One thing I realised is that every move, every act has a meaning and there is a long history and deep culture when it comes to dervishes. Don’t miss it if you are in Istanbul!! It’s a must!!!
Just came back at the hotel and I’m so grateful for what I just witnessed! This show is so unique and atmospheric. The aesthetics are incredible. The venue is just the right one. I don’t know, I’m so impressed by everything. Such a wonderful culture, now I want to explore more about dervishes and their lifestyle. It was an extravagant performance but it was simple at the same time. I feel lucky I got to watch it, it was simply unique and incredible from all perspective. Definitely recommended. Value for money, great show, super atmosphere.
Before my trip I was searching for some activities, you know not the ordinary things tourists do. So I found many reviews about this one. Made online reservation, very easy process, no hassle. The place is at the centre, very close from our hotel. It was full of people but still we were comfortable. My own personal favourite moment was when they started the circling, it was phenomenal. The effect they made with their costume was fantastic. It supposed to symbolize something and the whole audience was thrilled by this performance. I liked it a lot.