>Travel Pictures




The center of the city's history, this mosque - now just called the Old Mosque - adjoined what is now the covered bazaar. Susan and Alea walked into it expecting a usual tourist look-see. 
However, a Christmas service was just starting and they got caught in the women's section partaking in the events.  Juices and sweets were passed out to all the women and rose water was poured into their hands for a ritual washing.  While they did not know what all was going on, Alea was fascinated with the rituals and told us her version when we were done: We held out our hands to take in all that is good in God and then we put it all over ourselves so we could take all that goodness in.
We were busy exploring on Christmas Day, knowing that Islam considers Jesus to be a prophet like Moses and Abraham, but not quite expecting there to be a special commemoration for his birth. But in each of the mosques we saw, there were readings, chantings, sweets being handed out, even though we were not there on Friday (their holy day) or during designated prayer times.
By the end of the day we had quite a stockpile of juices and sweets, having been given them at every stop. We hardly needed to even get any food, at least until the kids discovered something called pop-cakes...
Edirne home - Mosques - Shopping - Medical museum - Selimiye Mosque

To the Turkey page
To the Christmas trip 2005 page
To the main Travel Pictures page