Hosay festival commemorated in Caribbean

Hosay in Cedros, Trinidad

The Trinidad Newsday online edition reported that Cedros, a fishing village in south-western Trinidad, held hosay festival celebrations.  Hosay is  well known  in St. James, a suburb of Port of Spain, Trinidad’s capital city.  While the Guyana Chronicle laments that it is a “A Muslim custom on the verge of extinction here”.

Newsday: Cedros, Trinidad villagers celebrate Hosay

Tadjah pulled along the Cedros Main Road.

THE QUIET fishing village of Cedros in south-west Trinidad came to life over the Christmas weekend for Hosay celebrations. The event commemorates the martyrdom of Hassan and Hussain (Hussein), grandsons of Prophet Muhammad. Hosay is a popular celebration among minority Shiite Muslims and is celebrated globally.

Last Saturday and Sunday the colourful event drew a large number of spectators. Activities took place under the watchful eye of police officers of the south-western division.

According to Matthew Thomas, treasurer of the Cedros Hosay Association, the festival is celebrated during Muharram, the first month of the Islamic lunar calender.  Participants are organised into five camps and each group is responsible for constructing miniature temples (tadjahs) to depict the tombs of Muhammad’s two grandsons. On the first day of Muharram, Muslims begin prayers at the Chawk (a holy place for prayers). Last week Friday, miniature tadjahs (small hosays or pitti bongie) were paraded through the streets of Cedros accompanied by tassa drummers.

Spectators lined the streets to get a glimpse of the beautifully decorated tadjahs. “There are different events in the lead up to the final night. We had flag night with members walking through the streets with flags. The final thing is to disperse of the hosays in the sea,” Thomas, of Fullerton Village, said.  Hosay is also celebrated in St James.

Tassa drummers accompany tadjah parade in Fullerton Village, Cedros

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