The word "helva" came up from "hulviyyat" or "halaviyyat" words in Arabic language. In modern Arabic "helva" word is used for the meaning of "nice" and "sweet". Helva had been called as "halva" until the end of 19th century. In Istanbul at that time, cream of the society was pronunciating halva as "helva", so now in modern Turkey people also say "helva" for it. Helva is the only thing that is eaten when people born and die in Turkey. Eating helva is a kind of symbolization of happiness and grief for Turkish people. It is a tradition to serve helva to people.