Mawlid sweets are a special part of the Mild Un Nabi celebrations
Milad Un Nabi celebrations have different scales depending on which part of the world you’re in. In some places, it is a small, intimate affair, as families come together to share food, and exchange gifts and good wishes. In others, organised events such as Quran recitation contests may be held at the local mosque, or spiritual conferences arranged. And in places like Indonesia, there are full-fledged street parades and festivities.
What is common to the Mawlid celebrations — especially in Africa and the Middle East — is the presence of sweets. Here’s a brief glossary of Mawlid sweets:
Kahbu al ghazal — i.e. ‘gazelle’s horns’, fine pastry filled with almond paste mixed with orange flower water and powdered cinnamon
Kraschel — leavened biscuits flavoured with sesame and orange flower water
Briouat — triangular pastry parcels filled with chopped, toasted almonds and dipped in honey
Baghrir — pastries made of semolina, eggs, salt, brewer’s yeast and water; pan-fried and served sprinkled with butter and honey
M’semmen — fine square pastries folded over and pan-fried or baked
Tamina — sweet made with toasted ground semolina, butter and honey. Typically decorated with cinnamon or sugared almonds.
‘Horse Candies’ — pink-coloured candies shaped like knights on horses
Mshabbak — fried fritters made with wheat, sugar, butter and eggs
Mawlid Bride — a figurine made of sugary paste that is dressed in paper skirts, glitter and fabric flowers. The dolls are presented to women by their fiances, along with a host of other sweets made of dried fruit, nuts and nougat.
Aseeda — dough-based dessert made from cooked wheat flour, butter and honey.
Assidat Zgougou — traditional dessert made with seeds of Aleppo pine, sugar, flour, starch, water, and rosewater
From The Middle East And Lebanon
Halawiyat — tradition of laying out free sweets (containing sesame seeds, caramelised peanuts, pistachios and other nuts) for passersby to partake of
Maamoul — biscuit stuffed with date paste or nuts
Turkish Delight — confections made with starch and sugar
Baklava, rice pudding, semolina porridge and date cookies are universally popular sweets, regardless of geography.