After three years the Eid Al Adha festival is back
Time Out Bahrain staff
Three years since the last Lunar Fest at Al Dar, the concept is back, bigger and better than ever with the Eclipse Festival taking place over the Eid Al Adha holiday and, of course, we’ve got all the details.
First off, let us say this aims to be a proper festival experience with something for everyone from the smallest member of the family right through to the party animals who get their own very special event.
It also aims to revive some old Bahraini traditions both to encourage the preservation of local culture as well as introducing it to expat residents who may not have come across rituals such as Heya Beya and some of the age old games once played by the island’s children.
The festival kicks of on October 14 with traditional Barhaini music and games such as dahrooy, played with a stick and a bicycle wheel, followed by the traditional Heya Beya ceremony.
Eid Al Adha is also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice and this is an ancient tradition which is carried out on the eve of Eid-al Adha. In anticipation, children plant beans in a basket and water them daily till they grow into a plant. During the Heya Beya ritual, youngsters don traditional clothes and join friends, neighbours and family to sing ancient songs before sacrificing their home-grown plants by throwing them into the sea, emulating Abraham’s (Ebrahim’s) willingness to sacrifice his son.
Over the next three days , kids and adults alike will marvel at the talents of sand sculptor Ray Wirick and his team, who are flying in from the USA for the occasion. They’ll be at work on the beach each day coming up with a whole range of amazing creations and also conducting workshops, so visitors can learn how to get in on the act.
There’ll also be kids’ games and prizes each day as well as giveaways and a daily sandcastle competition.
Sunset each evening will bring performances from Rajasthan, Spain and Bahrain in the shape of a group of local musicians playing sea music, the traditional ballads of the pearl divers, Ravi Ramoneda from Spain on the hang-drum and the talented and colourful Kaafila producing a fusion of exotic sounds with ethnic Rajasthani instruments such as the kartaal, bhapang and morcha alongside live vocals and saxophone.
Ravi, who was born into and grew up with a commune of yoga masters, will also be offering musical yoga sessions each evening for anyone who wants to channel their inner spiritual side with a bit of bending and stretching on the beach.
There will also be pottery and weaving workshops, fire jugglers, poi performers and much more.
And as well as the island’s own food, you can tuck into goodies from range of international food stalls and a market place selling locally produced arts and crafts and more than a few quirky bits and pieces.
The big party event happens on October 18. This one is for over 21s only and will feature a whole host of international DJs as well as live acts in a chill-out tent and on a separate stage from the Boho Baha guys.
For this event a team of international décor, sound and visual artists will create a fantasy world where you can lose yourself.
And the final day, Saturday, October 19, will be a chill-out day with mellow DJ sounds.
The island has chalets and camping is positively encouraged over the whole six days, though no activities are planned for the 18th day time. Bring your own tent, hire a beach bed, book accommodation – whatever, just make sure you’re ready to party!
Organiser Mohamed Slaise said: “We’ve done our best to create a unique, fulfilling and educational experience beyond the standards of regular partying but at the same time we want everyone to have fun and really enjoy themselves.”
On October 18 the moon will skim through the edge of the Earth’s shadow. At no point will the sun be more than partially eclipsed by the Earth, so observers will see a reduction in the moon’s brightness, but it won’t be completely within the Earth’s shadow. In other words a shaded moon... check it out, Al Dar’s bringing in a telescope so you can get a good view.