Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB) provided financial support for the 510th Ajvatovica Festival held in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the dates of 19-29 June 2020.
Ajvatovica Festival has been organizing for the memory of Ayvaz Dedo who is an Anatolian saint from Akhisar and an important figure for the Bosnian people in the process of accepting Islam as a religion. 510th Ayvatovica Festival was celebrated in the open spaces near Prusac village with 40 different activities and ended after the zuhur prayer with the participation of hundreds of people.
Chants were sung and the Quran was read during the program; and the participation to the program was lower compared to the previous years due to the new type of corona virus (Covid-19) pandemic. Due to the pandemic, the Mehteran group which is a traditional Ottoman military band and The Whirling Dervishes from Turkey could not be attended this year to the program; therefore the festival was not celebrated the way as usual.
244 horsemen arrived to the festival area in the early morning from different cities in order to attend one of the most important events of the country. Despite the very hot weather, participants to the festival filled the area and welcomed the horsemen who were dressed in traditional clothes.
Following the arrival of the horsemen, participants went to the place where the water came out through the rocks when there was drought right after Ayvaz Dedo prayed there 510 years ago according to the legend. Bosnians, who came to Prusac city for the festival, prayed at this point where the rock was split and water came out and the drought ended.
The Mufti of Travnik and Chairman of the Ayvatovica Festival Organizing Committee Ahmed Adilovic stated that the pandemic was affected the festival and that they actualized this year’s festival program in a more modest way by following the measures of the state and local authorities to be protected from the corona virus.
Adilovic posited that the modern lifestyle resulted in weakening of cultural and human values and he added that “as a result of this phenomenon, there are negativities in nature and the society. However, we all should try to find the solution in our tradition and religion. I believe that appreciating our history and tradition may be the only way to have a better future.”
On behalf of the President of Islamic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Religious Affairs) Husein Kavazovic, Salem Dedovic underlined the importance of protecting the Bosnian identity and the traditions and he emphasized that the Bosnians are a great nation in terms of the commitment to their traditions.
510th Ayvatovica Festival was ended after the prayers in the zuhur time.
Moreover, Ayvatovica Festivals has been supported financially by TDBB since 2015 upon the request of Travnik Municipality which is a TDBB Bosnia Member Municipality.