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  • Ahmed Saleh

AlUla people preserve dates with traditional methods: "shanna" and "al-mijlad"

AlUla, March 13, 2024, Throughout history, diverse methods have been employed to preserve dates, with the people of AlUla renowned for their traditional techniques known as "shanna" and "al-mijlad." These ancient preservation and storage methods continue to hold significant historical and cultural value in AlUla, even in the face of modern storage innovations.

The shanna technique involves utilizing dried skins from farm animals, typically sheep or goats, as containers. After washing and drying the dates, they are sometimes moistened before being stuffed into the skins and sealed shut with palm leaves.

On the other hand, the al-mijlad method entails the use of containers woven from palm fronds, wicker, or leather, wherein dates are carefully placed for preservation.

Remarkably, these age-old preservation methods persist in contemporary times, particularly during Ramadan, when preserved dates hold special significance and are shared generously among families and neighbors.

Recognizing the cultural importance of these traditional practices, the Royal Commission for AlUla has taken proactive measures to safeguard this heritage. An annual event organized by the commission serves as a platform to celebrate and preserve these age-old techniques, bringing together enthusiasts and farmers to exchange knowledge and ensure the continuation of these valuable traditions for generations to come.

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