The Khidir or the Khidir Nebi ceremony is considered one of the ceremonies held according to the folk calendar in Nakhchivan region. The ceremony is celebrated in the hardest time of winter on the 10th day of Kichik chille (the short period of winter) 6 weeks before the Novruz holiday. Since Kichik chille lasts from 31 January to 19 February the Khidir Nebi ceremony is held on the 9th of February when the Kichik chille is already half-done.
It can be said about this ceremony that it is associated with Khizir who is regarded as a protector of warmth and celebrated in his honor. It is an old Turkish belief widely spread before Islamic religion and as a rule, falls on February 9.
On the eve of this holiday people have some preparations, keep houses in order, clean the yards and gardens to celebrate the arrival of Khizir. It is believed that Khizir does not come to untidy houses.
In the holiday people clean and roast wheat, sesame, dye eggs red related to colour of spring and the Sun in most villages of Nakhchivan, including Kuku, Teyvaz, Shahtakhti . As a symbol of the Sun and warmth a ladle is decorated in some villages.
There is also held “Godu” ceremony for calling the Sun. These ceremonies bring pleasure and fun to children and young people more.
When it gets dark they knock at the doors, put their hats or small sacs at the threshold and hide. The house owners should give the hats back with holiday treats.
Author: Yaver Abbasov
Translator: Nubar Shahgeldiyeva