The "Baklava Procession" was an Ottoman tradition whereby Ottoman sultans would offer trays of baklava to Janissaries, the elite infantry units that formed the sultan's household troops, during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
The tradition is being revived once again by the Fatih municipality at the Sultanahmet Square. Symbolic Janissary troops marched from Topkapı Palace and took to stage at the square. They were accompanied by historian and author Talha Uğurluel, who then delivered a speech on the history of the "Baklava Procession."
Hosting the event, Fatih Municipality Mayor Mustafa Demir expressed the municipality's pleasure in reviving the tradition.
"It is really important to experience Ramadan in such a historical atmosphere. Our forgotten traditions and cultural heritage that was handed down to us by the Ottomans represents the soul of this centuries-old civilization," he said.
At the end of the procession, thousands of spectators who gathered at the Sultanahmet Square were offered a taste of baklava by the Fatih Municipality.
‘Baklava Procession' as a tradition
In Ottoman times, towards the end of the 17th century, the sultans would offer trays of baklava to Janissaries during Ramadan. Every 10 Janissaries would be offered one tray of baklava.
In addition, Istanbulites would also come to the Sultanahmet Square to watch the parade, greet the sultan and soldiers.
The procession came to an end when the Janissaries' Guild was abolished in the 19th century. The last "Baklava Procession" was held just two months prior to the abolishment.