In former times in Istanbul, events such as palace
weddings, the birth of Ottoman princes and military
victories, were celebrated with magnificent festivals,
some of which lasted for weeks. During these festivities,
various illuminations were displayed at night. Rockets
and Roman candles were fired from the Seven Hills
of Istanbul, painting the dark blue sky as it were
with bright yellow flowers; thousands of lamps and
torches were lit on the minarets and tall columns,
illuminating the city as if it were daytime. In
more recent times we have become accustomed to firework
displays at large weddings and commemmorative celebrations.
But these are pale in comparison to the illuminations
of the past. In this article the richness of those
festivities will be displayed with the help of miniature
ISTANBUL: CITY OF LIGHT
First of all let us take a look at the lamplit spectacles.
The technique, still in use today, of stringing
up lamps between the mosque minarets in the month
of Ramazan is known as mahya.