There are two religious festivals in Islam, Ramadan (Eid ul-Fitr) and The Feast of Sacrifice (Eid ul-Adha). As the biggest part of Turkey’s population consists of muslims, these two festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm, and the festival days are officially off; schools and official workplaces give a break. Today is the eve of The Sacrifice Feast and people will be celebrating it for 4 days. So I have a 9-day-break, which started on Saturday and I made these flour cookies to celebrate the feast!
People sacrifice animals like sheep, ram, camel or ox generally on the first day of this festival. Non muslims might have some prejudices about it as they think it is like a massacre. However, there are some rules for sacrificing animals. For one thing, your financial position must be good enough to buy that animal, so it is not a must to sacrifice animals for everyone. Second, it’s not a festival of cutting and eating animals. It is a way of sharing and helping people. You must give one third of the animal to relatives, one third to poor people. The rest is left to the family who sacrifices the animal and served to guests in different dishes.
The Feast of Sacrifice is similar to Ramadan. New clothes are bought especially for children and people wear clean and neat. They visit their relatives and friends, cook together and have big lunch or dinners of meat dishes together. Something sweet such as candies, chocolate, Turkish delight, or special Turkish desserts are seerved to guests. Kids kiss hands of elders and elders reward them with pocket money. Also, kids from the same neighborhood knock your door for candies.
As I don’t like packaged candies, I thought it would be great to serve something I make at home. You know I made some cute date balls in Ramadan. And I decided to make these small and cute flour cookies for this feast. Flour cookies are one of the most popular cookies in Turkey. You can find it in all pastry shops and some cafe shops serve flour cookies with Turkish coffee or tea. So I am looking forward to seeing how kids at the door will react tomorrow when they see me holding a plate full of these flour cookies.