Kids wearing costumes for a competition party at Eid el Berbara
Eid el Berbara, celebrated on December 4th, is a very popular holiday here in Lebanon, specially among children because they have the occasion to disguise the way they like, to wear any kind of costumes, scary masks. It is the eastern Halloween.
This holiday refers to Saint Barbara who disguised herself in different characters in order to escape the Romans who were persecuting her. She used to hide in wheat fields. That’s why we eat this wheat dessert at Sainte Barbara’s Day.
Boiled wheat topped with cashews, almonds, walnuts, raisins, sultanas and sweetened with either sugar or honey.
The children wear their costumes or masks and tour the neighborhood, visit the houses for trick or treats… They receive either sweets, candy or money…. and when present at your doorstep, they start singing a special song for Saint Berbara.
As for the traditional food, several sweets are prepared for this occasions. And yummii, how delicious they are!!! There are, boiled whole wheat, flavored with anis, served with almonds, blanched or unblanched, pistachios, raisins, walnuts, pine nuts, and sweetened with either sugar or honey and with a drizzle of orange blosson water. Also a sweet called Qatayef, a sweet dough like a crêpe filled with either ashta (cream), which we drizzle over some sugar syrup (Qater) and rose petals cooked with sugar syrup, or a mixture of crushed walnuts with sugar and orange blossom water. And a fried dough soaked in sugar syrup called Maacroun.
Qatayef with mixture of walnuts, sugar & orange blossom water