Tag Archives: Celebration

Epiphany in Lebanon

I know I should have made this post earlier, but I was mostly going out with my friends who are visiting for the holidays.

Epiphany in Lebanon marks the end of the holidays’ season. Usually on the 5th of January (Epiphany eve) people tend to make special kinds of sweets and I don’t know if I can call them cookies. They are available in pastry shops and some bakeries all around the year, but people make them at home mostly on Epiphany.

Another tradition is making yeast and hanging it on a plant or a tree outside in a cloth bag: careful though it has to be hanged on a non cursed tree, so no yeast hanging on fig trees and there is another one which I forgot. There is a belief (not sure where it really came from or if it has any theological origins) that Christ will be passing at midnight to bless homes and the hanging yeast balls. Some even leave a light on for this purpose. I don’t know if these traditions are carried on by younger generations. Continue reading

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Christmas: A Lebanese Celebration Tale

Christmas in Lebanon is one of the most celebrated holidays around the year. It reflects a spirit of welcome and joy.

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Trick or Treat à la Libanaise*

Saint Barbara is the Lebanese Halloween counterpart, minus the spooky side. Although Halloween has been celebrated in Lebanon for a few years now, by an inspiration from the west, the “trick or treating” is still done by kids on December 4th.

Saint Barbara is celebrated at that date, to commemorate how Barbara – a pagan noblewoman turned Christian- fled her father who was trying to kill her because she denied the gods. Barbara hid from her father by painting her face and wearing disguise. Thus the kids celebrate that by wearing disguises and singing specific songs when doors open for them. Although there is no real trick, there is always a treat for the kids: most commonly it is small money bills or coins given after the chants. There are even thank you songs that might call you cheap if the kids did not like how much you offered.

Some people do offer a pastry made for the occasion: Katayef.

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