Seyaha festival, is also called Sulh (Reconciliation) festival, and pronounced Seyahet in the Siwan dialect (a dialect of Amazigh language). It is celebrated for three days in Siwa Oasis, mid the Hijri month that coincides with the month of October. It is a yearly renewal of peace among Siwan people, as back in the day, there were conflicts between the eastern and western tribes. According to a Siwan manuscript, in the year 1868 al-Sheikh al-Tayeb Muslim summoned the people at al-Dakrour Mountain, which is a location five kilometres outside the city. Everyone ate together, and afterwards they performed Zhikr (Remembrance) and Sufi chants, and they were asked to continue that tradition each year.

The celebration is part spiritual as people from the two dominant Sufi sects; al-Madaneya al-Shazleya and al-Senouseya gather to pray, chant and eat together for three days,  and part social, as the rest of the Siwan community gather and share the food and visit the accompanying market. Moreover, business deals, marriage agreements, and reconciliation between tribes.

Everyone is welcome to join the festival, regardless of age or religion. Unmarried women also attend, while married ones celebrate it by gathering in homes and sharing food.

The whole celebration is based on sharing, before the festival money is gathered to buy bread and meat, which are the constituents of Fattah, the main dish for the event. Everybody then eats from the same dish that is prepared and cooked at the site. Organizers are divided into groups of butchers, cooks, dish washers, and others. Rows of people (organizers and attendees), help transport dished from the washing area, to the cooking area, and afterwards to the rest of the people who gathered in the space at the foot of the mountain.

In the third day, two of the chefs dress as beggars with long white mustaches and beards made from sheep wool. They were big sacks around their heads, and tie them around their waists, and hold a stick in their hands. Each is followed by two assistances, one carrying a sack, and one holding a stick to hold back naughty children. The beggars roam in a parade around the city, going from one house to another, followed by joyful children who sing and try to grab the beards. At each house, the beggar greats, and reads al-Fatiha (from the Qur’an) and would be offered tokens of peanuts, cookies, biscuits, and fruits, which the assistance would carry in their sacks. By the end of the day, organizers and participants in the festival gather, and share all the tokens together. In this manner, gifts from different homes are mixed together and no one can identify who donated what.

Al-Sheikh al-Tayeb Muslim, Siwa Manuscript
Field recordings 1999, 2001, 2006, 2009 by Dr. Shawqi Habib abd al-Qawi.
Suzan al-Saeed Yousef, Folklore in Siwa, National center for theatre, music, and folklore, Folklore studies series no. 11, 2007