Manisa Mesir Macunu Festival: Symbols and Ceremonies

Mesir Paste of Manisa

What is Mesir Paste?

Mesir is a traditional Turkish dessert with medicinal properties. Manisa Mesir Macunu was first made as a medicine during the Ottoman Empire, but it later became a popular feature of Manisa’s local festivities. Earlier versions of Mesir paste had a peppery flavour rather than being sweet.

Manisa Mesir Macunu Festival

One of Turkey’s oldest events is the Mesir Festival. The festival will be held in Manisa for the 471st time in March 2011. Every year, residents of Manisa and the surrounding communities congregate around the Sultan Mosque to catch Mesir paste of Manisa thrown from the mosque’s domes and minarets by men dressed in traditional garb. A lavish, much-anticipated parade also takes place around the mosque, with the president, prime minister, numerous ministers and members of parliament, officials from NGOs, and notable inhabitants of Manisa in attendance.

Manisa Mesir Macunu Festival Symbols and Ceremonies

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Mesir Paste, which is made from a particular recipe of a paste containing 41 different herbs and spices, is dispersed in the hopes of ensuring everyone’s well-being throughout the annual Nevruz week.

Mesir Paste Festival encompasses a variety of cultural and traditional traditions and is held during the week of Nevruz, which is considered the start of spring. The festival draws people from all around Turkey together, contributing significantly to societal harmony and cooperation. They make preparations for both foreign and domestic visitors to the event in Manisa, and they make it a point to offer some of the mesir paste to international visitors and nearby cities.

Manisa Mesir Festival Ceremonies

Every year, Manisa Mesir Macunu Festival begins with prayers over the shaking and cooking of the mesir paste. During the event, at least three tonnes of mesir paste is made for hurling and distributing out.

manisa mesir macunu

At least 14 ladies must be characterized by cleanliness, skill, experience, and patience as they wrap the mesir paste in small pieces of shining, colourful paper. Before being thrown to the public from the minaret and dome of Sultan Mosque, the paste is mixed and cooked with prayers and wishes for a rapid recovery. Hundreds of thousands of people from all across Turkey strive to catch a piece of the paste before it falls to the ground.

The Manisa Mesir Macunu Festival schedule comprises events such as the traditional mesir cortege, a cookery contest, public concerts, children’s enjoyment, theatre, and folk dance performances, in addition to the mesir stirring and distribution festivities.

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List of Spices and Herbs Used in Making the Mesir Paste

mesir festival

  • Allspice
  • Alpina officinarum root
  • Anise
  • Black cumin
  • Black myrobalan
  • Black pepper
  • Buckthorn
  • Cardamon
  • Cassia
  • Chebulic myrobalan
  • China root
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coconut
  • Coriander
  • Cubeb
  • Cumin
  • Dried orange blossom
  • Fennel
  • Galingale
  • Ginger
  • Iksir sugar
  • India blossom
  • Java pepper
  • Licorice extract
  • Licorice root
  • Mastic Millet
  • Myrrh
  • Muskroot
  • Mustard seed
  • Orange peel
  • Rhubarb
  • Saffron
  • Citric acid
  • Senna
  • Turmeric
  • Udulkahr
  • Vanilla
  • Woad
  • Yellow myrobalan

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