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  • Author or Editor: Sinem Erdoğan İşkorkutan x
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In: The 1720 Imperial Circumcision Celebrations in Istanbul
In: The 1720 Imperial Circumcision Celebrations in Istanbul
In: The 1720 Imperial Circumcision Celebrations in Istanbul
In: The 1720 Imperial Circumcision Celebrations in Istanbul
In: The 1720 Imperial Circumcision Celebrations in Istanbul

Abstract

In late July 1720 Sultan Ahmed III (r. 1703–30) and his high-ranking officials decided to host a circumcision festival in Istanbul that would start in mid-September and continue for three weeks. As noted in the narrative sources, among various other preparations that the officials had to take care of, the most urgent task was to construct large and small naḫıls (lit. “date palms”), consisting of wooden poles decorated with wax, fruit, flowers; and giant model candy gardens (sing. bāġçe-i şeker). Despite this concern, the sources do not provide substantial information regarding the construction of these objects. Interestingly, this lack of information is also evident in narrative sources related to previous imperial celebrations. By analyzing unknown archival documents and considering the textual and pictorial sources for the 1720 festival, this essay intends to elucidate the design and construction process of the splendid naḫıls and candy gardens, which were indispensable material objects in Ottoman imperial festivals.

In: Muqarnas Online
Festivity and Representation in the Early Eighteenth Century
The 1720 Imperial Circumcision Celebrations in Istanbul offers the first holistic examination of an Ottoman public festival through an in-depth inquiry into different components of the 1720 event. Through a critical and combined analysis of the hitherto unknown archival sources along with the textual and pictorial narratives on the topic, the book vividly illustrates the festival’s organizational details and preparations, its complex rites (related to consumption, exchange, competition), and its representation in court-commissioned illustrated festival books (sūrnāmes).
To analyze all these phases in a holistic manner, the book employs an interdisciplinary approach by using the methodological tools of history, art history, and performance studies and thus, provides a new methodological and conceptual framework for the study of Ottoman celebrations.