Each year during the Eid of Halva, residents of Homs would buy the city’s traditional sweets, Homsi halva, to distribute to religious choirs, Quran readers and the poor.
For hundreds of years, the city of Homs is the only Syrian city to celebrate the tradition, which sees over three tons of halva sold.
Abo Ahmad, a displaced resident of Homs, described the event saying: “On Thursdays, the old city of Homs would be covered with bright whites and pinks, typical of Homsi halva, while shop fronts embrace the two colors of halva”.
Abo Ahmad mentioned that other sweets are also sold during the celebration, like khobziyeh, bashmiyeh, and simsimiyeh, along with plain or stuffed raha.
Abo Ahmad explained Eid of Halva celebrations originated in the late 19th century. "It is one of the seven Thursdays Homsi people celebrate, which are the Thursdays of: the Lost, the Shanona, the Mad, the Cats, the Plants, Al-Halva and the Sheiks."
Determining the specific date of Eid of Halva is according to the Orthodox Christian calendar, prior to Easter Sunday, Abo Ahmad explained.
Despite the pain endured by Syrians, and particularly in Homs, the community still celebrates the special day as part of Homs’ century old tradition.
People from Homs in Egypt recognized the day in 6th of October City, where Syrian confectionary shops displayed cones of the “Red Halva”, in an attempt to continue the celebration in the minds of children.