Thursday, January 20, 2005

Me Fat Bajram

That means "Happy Bajram" in Albanian.  There are actually two Bajrams (or festivals) each year.  There is little Bajram that falls at the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, and it lasts for three days.  Then there is the sacrifice Bajram in November that lasts four days and celebrates something to do with Mohammed (Emin couldn't exactly tell me what it is.)  A common misconception about Bajram is that is a time for fasting.  It's actually quite the opposite.  It's a time for eating, eating, and eating!
Bajram gives people time from their busy lives to go visit family and friends.  During Bajram, it is typical to go visit your friends and family for about 10-15 minutes to wish them well and catch up on what's new in life.  During that time, they will serve coffee and cake.  Then it is off to the next house for more coffee and cake!  Eventually, you'll stay home and serve coffee and cake to your friends and it is quite an enjoyable time.