Growing up abroad, I was always fascinated by how the Americans celebrated their holidays. Christmas was all about the lights and decorated tree, there was the Easter bunny and the Thanksgiving parade. It was a child’s (and, I now realize, a retailer’s) wonderland. I must admit I have been disappointed by the lack of festivity during the observation of religious holidays here in Libya. Somehow the spirit of fun and happiness has started to fade. I was especially upset after spending Ramadan last year in Cairo with family. The Egyptians now how to celebrate; the tone was just right, walking down the street the signs of Ramadan were all around and the religious spirit was just as strong. This is why this year I’ve decided to bring some of that festive spirit into our home with a few simple ideas.
Food is eaten through the eyes and nose before it ever reaches the mouth. If it doesn’t look appealing or smell good, we probably won’t even touch it, let alone eat it. Dressing up your sofra or dinner table can make any meal a little more special.
This hip retro theme with a touch of Libyan style is perfect for the young and trendy family. The table runner sets the color scheme and highlights from this palette are picked up in the tealights. Spruce up a regular table napkin by clipping on the hand of fatima or kh’maysa (a symbol of the number 5, believed to ward off the evil eye). Usually sold in silver or gold, these kh’maysas can be found at wedding favor shops for about 0.35 LYD depending on the size.
If you are a more traditional person, and happen to have some local crockery or cookware around the house, perhaps this theme will spark some ideas for you. A traditional brooch or kh’lal usually worn by brides in the full Libyan bridal dress, is a great accessory for your table. Again a replica of the kh’lal can be found at any good wedding favor supply shop.
Classic simplicity can be hard to achieve. It is very easy to over do it when you start to add the shiny and the sparkly. Fine china, silverware and glassware/crystal ware are a must to pull this look off. An arabesque silver bob hung on a mobile charm hook adds a fun twist to this otherwise classy design.