The Mevlevi Sema Ceremony is a mystic ceremony which symbolizes the degree of the path to God, contains religious elements and themes, and thus has detailed rules and qualities.
The ceremony is composed of naat, ney transition, prelude, devr-i Veledî, and four salutes, each with different mystical meanings. Sema Ceremony is performed with Mevlevi music coming from tradition in places where Mevlevi culture can be transferred correctly. Itri’s rhythm composed at the end of the 17th century, which is being played at the beginning of the ceremony begins with naat-i sharif. Composed by composers such as Pir Adil Çelebi, hymns are read by the choir who studied music. Instruments such as Ney, Kudum and Ut accompany the choir. The works of Mevlânâ written in Persian are the main source of the compositions performed by the mutrib delegation (sound and reed ensemble) during the ceremony.
Sema ceremonies salute section consists of four parts: 1st Selâm, for the human being to comprehend the servitude; 2nd Selâm, To be admired in the power of Allah; 3rd. Selâm changing the admiration of potency towards love , 4th Selâm, describe the return of man to servitude. The ceremony is finished with the Holy Quran and prayers.
As whirling dervishes in the Mevlevi Sema, a symbol of the heavens, the leading whirling dervish wander among them and ensure that the whirling dwellers are kept in their distance. The one who called ‘Postnişin’ and who guides the ceremony, reads the prayers by standing at the end of the red post. It is assumed that the Sema symbolizes the solar system as the place where ceremony take place is round, looks like earth, Postnişin looks like the sun, the leading whirling dervish is the moon and the other dervishes are like the planets.
This ceremony, which requires attention and care to its execution, carries the mystical symbols in many stages from beginning to end. Returning during the sema represents watching God in all places and directions. Hitting the foot is to crush the unlimited and insatiable wishes of the soul and crush it and fight it and defeat it. Opening your arms to the side is the weakness devoted to the ‘most perfect’.
The Mevlevi Sema Ceremony, which was declared a Masterpiece in 2005 within the framework of the UNESCO Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage Program, in 2008, was introduced to the whole world by registering to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on behalf of our country.