|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2011)|
|Observed by||Arab Christians in
|Celebrations||cooking traditional food, wearing costumes, trick-or-treating|
Eid il-Burbara or Saint Barbara's Day, is a holiday annually celebrated on December 4 among Arab Christians in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. It is celebrated in honor of the Christian Saint and Martyr Saint Barbara. The general belief among Syrian and 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 offered to masquerading children. 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 in the rest of the told legend. While fleeing persecution, Barbara supposedly also ran through a freshly planted wheat field, 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.