Saturday, March 15, 2008

All things sweet

Al Ahram Weekly (Amira El-Noshokaty)

Celebrations marking the birth of the Prophet Mohamed, which this year falls on 20 March, are multi-faceted -- there are religious sermons and songs, the screening of classic films based on the life of the prophet, a preponderance of brightly coloured awnings to decorate the entrance to sweetshops. But it is in the sweetshops themselves that Egypt's most idiosyncratic contribution to the feast is to be found for among the heaped confectioneries, the piles of nuts and other sugar-coated delicacies, there will be rows of mulid dolls.

The doll, fashioned from boiled sugar, first appeared during Tulinid times though its popularity only flourished during Fatimid rule, particularly during the reign of Al-Moez Ledin Allah Al-Fatemi. Typically, it is dressed in a Mameluke outfit, a waistcoat with fitted body and long, generous sleeves, the body covered in a full skirt that has the advantage of ensuring stability, posed often with hands on hip and with three paper fans attached to her back like wings.

See the above page for the full story.

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