Zakaria: Make a Wish

Zakaria is an Iraqi Islamic tradition for wish making. I say Iraqi because I have only heard that Iraqis do it, but I have a feeling that some people in the Gulf do it as well. The idea is that you make a wish for something to happen, and vow that if this wish comes true, then you will perform Zakaria every year to thank God. To do Zakaria, one must fast on the first Sunday of the month of Shaban (One of the Islamic months), break fast at sun down like one would during Ramadan, and prepare a tray of:
candles: this represents light
water: represents life
greenery and bread: represent prosperity
sesame seeds: I have no idea what this represents actually.
sugar: sweetness of life
yogurt or milk: these represent ‘white’, as in purity.

It’s called Zakaria because it’s said that the prophet Zachary used to do this.

So here are some shots I snapped of this year’s Zakaria:

Lighting the Candles

Lighting the Candles

The trays with goodies

The trays with goodies

Tarek oversees the event

Tarek oversees the event

After lots of chatter and excitement, Zakaria comes to an end

After lots of chatter and excitement, Zakaria comes to an end

Women do Zakaria more than men, and it usually involves wishing for a son. I don’t have a problem with these traditions, but detest the pressure women feel to have a boy. What’s wrong with girls, huh?


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