On the 15th of every Ramadan, it was customary in the Ottoman palaces for the Sultan to present Baklava trays to be distributed to the janissaries in a tradition called the Baklava Alayi. It is said that accepting these trays – especially by the higher ranking janissaries – indicated satisfaction with their pay and conditions, while returning the tray was to communicate dissatisfaction. The Harem would also distribute Baklava trays to their janissaries and would go the extent of distributing them to the populace in special events and celebrations. In modern days, Baklava is still considered – by many – the sweet of choice for celebrations and gifting. Many would serve Baklava to everyday guests and on special occasions such as Ramadan, Eid and other occasions. Furthermore, many would give Baklava as a gift when visiting guests. This tradition still lives on and had been started back in the Ottoman days.
There are many varieties of Baklava, almost every Middle Eastern country has its own Baklava recipe. This is the basic Turkish recipe, with which you can get creative. Confectioners usually boast the number of sheets used in making Baklava (the more being better), so it is common to hear that this Baklava was made out of 70 sheets even going up to 90 sheets as base before filling and so on.
I have gone for 1 packet of filo sheets here, but feel free to become a confectioner and go for the 90 sheets! 🙂