Each year during this time (12th of Rabi' al Awwal or 17 Rabi' al Awwal) the world celebrates the birth (mawlid) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah who was born in 570 AD in Mecca (Hijaz).
Muhammad early in his childhood became an orphan and faced harsh environments, yet compassion and love was abundantly present in his actions. With his moral excellence he managed to bring people together and provoke great social and political changes. His internal strength and patience continues to inspire his followers, and more generally all people of virtue, in the most difficult conditions.
The same way the sincere prophetic message unites people despite differences in language, culture and age, mawlid is celebrated from the south to north of Iraq. All over Iraq family and friends gather while preparing zardeh (saffron pudding), kleicha, and decorate the mosques and streets.