There was a tradition in the Ottoman Empire: A big tray of baklava was given per 10 janissaries in the middle of Ramadan.
The Sultan had it distributed to janissaries as a display of compliment. The Silahtar Aga -janissary number one- came in front of the palace kitchen, received the first tray on behalf of the Sultan, and then chief of each squad received the other trays, and they all walked towards the barracks as a procession, tray carriers in the front and the whole squad in the rear.
It also became a tradition to offer trays of baklava to janissaries of Istanbul after giving them gold-filled red leather bags including janissary wages on pay days of janissaries once every three months. The Janissaries returned to their barracks singing heroic songs, their blades on their shoulders, and trays over their heads. Over time, this procession was called the Baklava Procession. Whether this term was created by the public, or in the palace is not known…
Baklava has a deep-rooted history stemming back to Central Asian Turks and stories featured in fairy tales. The Baklava Procession is just one of these…
* Quoted from the book ‘100 Flavors of Istanbul,” prepared by Kültür A.Ş.
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