Nisf Sha’aban – 2010

August 8th, 2010

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 1

Sha’aban is the eighth month of the Islamic calender, it is the month before Ramadan.

Nisf Sha’aban or Mid-Sha’aban is the 15th day of the eighth month (sha’aban) of the Islamic lunar calendar. Laylat Nisf  Sha’aban is the night preceding the 15th day of Sha’aban. The most important event at the fifteenth of Sha’aban was the changing of the qiblah which was ordered by God from Masjid Al-Aqsa (Al-Aqsa Mosque) in Jerusalem, to Masjid Al-Haram (The Sacred Mosque) in Mecca.

In Syria it is a tradition to celebrate Nisf Sha’aban every year, each city has its own way of celebration.
In Hama
, streets are lightened with extra lights and decorated with Syria’s flag. Sweet shops and mothers prepare special sweets, these kind of sweets are available only during Nisf Sha’aban, they can’t be found in other days of the year. Also, parents visit their married daughters and take with them these sweets as a gift.

Four kinds of sweets are prepared:

Bashmina

Mahia

Ma’amoul Abiad

Makbouseh

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 2

This year, Nisf Sha’aban (Mid-Sha’aban) was on 28/7/2010.

More pictures with details:

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 3

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 4

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 5

Above: Bashmina

Bashmina is a specialty of Homs, it is available in Homs all over the year. It is prepared from flour, sugar syrup and cornflour (cornstarch), formed into square sheets and these thin sheets are arranged over each other as several layers, they are very light in weight, then cut them into cubes, and dusted with powdered sugar . It is purchased and can’t be prepared at home.

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 6

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 7

Above: Mahia

Mahia is a specialty of Hama (you can’t find it in other cities), and available only during Nisf Sha’aban. It is prepared from semolina, sugar, ghee and rose water, cooked then cooled and cut into diamonds, it is available in two colors white (no food coloring added) and red (food coloring is added). It is purchased.

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 91

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 94

Above: Ma’amoul Abiad

In Hama it is known as “Ma’amoul Abiad”, in other cities it has another name which is “Ghraibeh”. It is prepared from flour, sugar and ghee, and baked in the oven. Either purchased or prepared at home.

I’ll post the recipe soon. Read the recipe (Ma’amoul Abiad).

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 8

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 9

Above: Makbouseh

Makbouseh is a specialty of Hama (you can’t find it in other cities), and available only during Nisf Sha’aban, it has another name which is “Mehshiyeh”. The dough is prepared from flour, sugar and ghee, and the filling is prepared from semolina, sugar, water, orange blossom water and food coloring, it is formed as two layers of dough and the filling between them, and cut into diamonds then baked in the oven. Either purchased or prepared at home.

I’ll post the recipe soon. Read the recipe (Makbouseh).

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 92

Dimah - http://www.orangeblossomwater.net - Nisf Sha'ban 93

Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Test

3 Responses to “Nisf Sha’aban – 2010”

  1. Marsha says:

    Dimah,
    thanks for all detailed information about this special day and the food that helps celebrate it.
    I love learning more about the specialities of each city, particularly Hama. My loved ones are from Hama and this information gives me more insight to their life.

  2. Dimah says:

    Marsha: It is a pleasure to hear from you, thank you for taking the time to stop by :)
    I’m so glad to know that you enjoyed the post, and I hope one day you come to Syria and visit Hama :)
    Thank you so much for your kind words!

  3. Dimah,

    I treasure every one of your posts, as Syrian pastries are so celebrated here in Lebanon and rightly so. I am learning new things from you, these pastries and the celebration is totally new to me. Thanks!

Leave a Reply