Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mabruke Al Mawluade

Tonight is the eve ( Mozum) of the Mawluade , which is tomorrow. Mawluade is the celebration of the Muslim prophet Mohammed's birthday . The orthodox Muslims don't celebrate this day as the Prophet Mohammed said they were not to celebrate any days but the two Eids and the Friday prayers .

But here in Libya most family's get together this night to have a special dinner. Then afterwards the little boy's carry a large lite candle to symbolize the light of Islam brought into the world with the Prophet Mohammed's birth , little girls carry a large candelabra shaped like a hand called The Hand of Fatima that has candles on the ends of the finger tips , after the Prophet Mohammed's daughter Fatima . The children usually will have firecrackers to set off after it gets dark to make a loud celebratory noise much like America's 4th of July . There might be singing and dancing too . Of course there will be sweet tea after wards served with many sweets to make it a true occasion!

Each family is in charge of their own fireworks and it can get pretty competitive to see who has the most , the loudest , and can set off more than the others all at the same time . Some years you would think it is a war going on outside !The days leading up to the Mawluade and for several weeks after the Mawluade you can still hear those things going off at odd times of the day or night . I don't like this part of the celebrations because I think it is way too dangerous for children to be playing with fireworks , but every year I would be out voted !

There is the fairly recent addition of the TREE . Sometimes you will find a tree , what Christians would think of as a Christmas tree , set up in a living room . A man will present one of these trees to his newly engaged fiancee along with a complete dress outfit , with jewelry too ! Lucky girl ! This tree will be artificial , but today when Moe and I were out shopping in one of the new mini malls that have started to sprouted up around Tripoli , I saw this real tree decorated as a Mawlaude Tree . As I was taking a picture of the tree to show you , a young man came up and wanted to pose with the tree in the picture . I told him I was posting it on my blog , because people here are so funny about having their pictures taken . He got so excited ! He began to run around everywhere shouting I am going to be on a blog !!! I wonder if he knew what a blog was .

Of course all of this is strictly not religiously acceptable . The time should be spent in prayer. The next day , the actual day of the Mawluade , it is business as usual , as everyone goes about their normal day . Some years the schools and the government offices are closed .

On the way home we drove by one of the main markets in town and I had forgotten by this time that this would be a big mistake , since this is one of the area's where fireworks , cheap toy's , drums, candles , and the tree's are sold . It took us an hour to drive one short block . I would have taken pictures but the traffic demanded my full attention ! Here is wishing all of you who celebrate, a very nice Mawluade .


Queen O'Danile said...

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Anglo-Libyan said...

best wishes to you and your family.

I enjoyed your description as it reminded me of my childhood growing up in Libya.
here in the UK similar stuff happens in Halloween and Guy Folks night.

Khalid said...

Hi Mrs on the edge..
wish you a happy and blessed Meloud, thank you for the nice informative post

on the edge said...

Thank you all for the wonderful Mabruk's !Hope it was a great day for you also !

Lebeeya said...

Mabrook Al Mawlad to you! LOL First time I ever hear someone decorating a tree for the Mawlad.

I love how people get excited when I ask to take their picture. There is something about pictures that I just cant put my fingers on. Hehe.

Nice post and description :)