Muslims across the globe have been toasting the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday with prayers, singing and sweets.
Many followers of the Sunni sect celebrate his birth on November 30 across December 1 this year, which falls on the 12th of Rabi’ al-Awwal, the third month of the Islamic calendar.
Shia devotees, which make up the majority in countries like Iran, will wait until December 5, the 17th of Rabi’ al-Awwal.
The celebrations—which includes prayer at mosques, processions and the singing of hymns—fall on a different day each year on the Gregorian calendar.
But such celebrations are not encouraged in Saudi Arabia: followers of Wahhabi Islam regard it as an unnecessary innovation to their religion that should be rejected.
The day is called Mawlid and in places like Egypt sugary sweets form an important part of the annual celebrations.
Except this year the confectionery, enjoyed by generations of the country’s children, could not be as enjoyed as widely this year.
The sweets, known as Halwat El-Moulid, are sugared candies, decorated with colourful paper and shaped after a bride, Al-Arosa, and a horse, Al-Hossan, from Islamic lore which are often bought for girls and boys respectively. But increases in the price of commodities like sugar and competition from cheaper plastic dolls imported from China mean sales have declined.