Mid Sha’ban & The Magic Lamp

It’s Mid-Sha’ban, the 15th day of the 8th month (Sha’ban) according to the Islamic lunar calendar. It’s a holiday observed by various Muslim communities. The night before this day is known as the “Night of Records” (Laylat al-Bara’at or Bara’at Night). It is regarded as a night when the fortunes of Muslim people are decided for the coming year. People are blessed, benefited, pardoned and forgiven by their Almighty Allah. It also marks 15 days to Ramadan.

The night between 14 and 15 Sha’ban is celebrated in cultural and traditional ways by getting involved in nightlong prayers. In some regions, this is also a night when one’s deceased ancestors are honored. Many South Asian countries, like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, call this night Shab-e-Baraat, meaning Night of Innocence. In these countries the houses, streets and especially mosques are decorated with colorful pennants and bunting which are Illuminated at night. Last Sunday night, the faithful lit electric lights, candles or even oil lamps right from evening through the whole night. Sweet shops and bakeries offered special items while people distributed bread and sweetmeat door to door and to the poor. Halva – a dense, sweet confection – is a popular item at this time.

Halva that is slightly gelatinous and made from grain flour, typically semolina. The primary ingredients are clarified butter, flour, and sugar.

The Magic Lamp Restaurant

I passed on trying to make a complicated Eastern sweet dish and decided to leave it to the experts. On Saturday night, I dined at a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant in Long Beach, CA. The Magic Lamp is Lebanese based and serves authentic dishes like humus with ground beef, kefta kebabs, and a homemade bread that you just can’t stop eating.

humus and ground beef

Mediterranean Flat Bread Pizza,
Mediterranean Flat Bread Pizza.

kefta kebab

You can dine late into the night because it is open until midnight and they bring out hookah in the evening. If you visit on a Friday or Saturday night, you will also be privileged to live entertainment. The Lebanese culture puts an emphasis on dining as a celebration, and The Magic Lamp strives to provide dinners with an atmosphere that captures that philosophy.

magic lamp mosaic

Meals are a social experience and even an art form in Lebanese culture. It is the perfect place to absorb the celebration of Mid Sha’ban. Tiled mosaics and rustic decor work in tandem with delicious food to bring the distinctive atmosphere and attitude of Lebanese dining to life. The Magic Lamp is a beautiful restaurant with friendly and knowledgeable staff that transports you to a Mediterranean escape.

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