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The Islamic world is celebrating AlMawlid Alnabawi Alsharif tomorrow Saturday, 11 November 2019. We have seen our streets fabulously decorated weeks ahead of the occasion. We have seen the Mouled sweets in all sizes and shapes. And, of course, the knight on the horse and the sugar doll (Arouset Elmouled).

We eat the candies, buy the dolls and the horses. But, we have barely grasped the origin of this all. In this blog, we are uncovering the history of the Mawlid festivities.

More info on when?

The birth of Prophet Muhammad is celebrated on the 12th day of the third Hijri Month Rabie AlAwwal of every Islamic Hijri year. Why it changes every year? because the lunar calendar advances 11 days each year. Meaning that the exact date changes annually.

Is it a Public Holiday?

On this occasion Islamic countries, most of them, declare it as a public holiday. Originated from the Ottomans in 1588 as an official holiday. This year it comes on Saturday in Egypt so we are taking the day off since it came originally on a weekend!

A Look Back on the Festivities History!

The celebration started originally in the form of poetry sessions. Poems were composed to praise Allah and honour Muhammad and were recited to the crowds. But the look and feel of festivities we see now in our streets date back to the Fatimid Dynasty. They introduced it on the 11th Century, where they developed the tradition of houses, mosques, and streets decorations. In addition to the habit of making and eating the Mawlid sweets on the day.

Mawlid_an-Nabi_SallAllaho_Alaihi_wa_Sallam_procession_at_Boulac_Avenue_in_1904_at_Cairo_Egypt

Mawlid_an-Nabawi_SallAllaho_Alaihi_wa_Sallam_Celebrations_in_Cairo_in_1878

Almawlid Alnabawi celebrations in Cairo in 1878 - Sourced from Wikipedia

The Sugar Doll and the Knight on the Horse!

This tradition also dates back to the Fatimid Dynasty. It is said that all of that began under the rule of the Fatimid ruler AlHakim Ba’amrUllah. The majority believes that the Ruler, AlHakim Ba’amrUllah, dressed up as a soldier astride a horse and went into the town with one of his wives walking along his side, she wore a glamorous white dress with a jasmine flower crown on her head. Her beauty inspired candy makers that they decided to depict them both of course in a much simpler version other than what we see now.  These candy-shaped dolls and horses are usually made by pouring sugary solution around a moulded nut figure.

A couple of weeks ago and maybe for another couple of days, you'll find all Mawlid candy products in the streets, pastry shops and everywhere basically and our advice to you is not to miss it.