Eid il-Burbara traditional food
|Observed by|| Russia
Middle Eastern Christians in
|Celebrations||cooking traditional food, wearing costumes, trick-or-treating, pumpkins, decorations|
|Next time||4 December 2015|
Eid il-Burbara or Saint Barbara's Day, is a holiday annually celebrated on December 4 among Middle Eastern Christians in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. It has become Lebanon’s counterpart to the Halloween celebration, although it existed as a tradition much earlier. It is celebrated in honor of the Christian Saint and Martyr Saint Barbara. The general belief among Lebanese Christians is that Saint Barbara disguised herself in many different characters to elude the Romans who were persecuting her.
The traditional food made on this feast is Burbara, a bowl of boiled wheat grains, pomegranate seeds, raisins, anise and sugar. It is offered to children who go from one house to another in costumes.  In Lebanon, Lebanese Christians cook a dough that is filled with walnuts or cheese. Heavy traffic occurs in bakeries because of people buying the traditional food for this holiday. Children go trick or treating  while singing a special song for Eid il-Burbara. Moreover, Halloween decorations, such as jack-o'-lanterns, can be seen.
A common practice in Lebanon on Eid il-Burbara finds its source on the legend of Saint Barbara who was believed to witness a miracle while fleeing prosecution. She ran through freshly planted wheat fields, which grew instantly to cover her path.
This miracle is recreated symbolically today by planting wheat seeds (or chick peas, barley grains, beans, lentils, etc.) in cotton wool on Saint Barbara’s feast day. The seeds germinate and grow up to around 6 inches in time for Christmas, when the shoots are used to decorate the nativity scene usually placed below the Christmas tree.