Ramadan is of immense importance in the Islamic calendar, and Muslims around the world observe this holy month.
Egypt, as one of the countries that fervently celebrates Ramadan, shows exceptional enthusiasm and devotion during this period. In this guide, we will explore the historical and cultural significance of Ramadan in Egypt.
We will also explore various facets such as how it is celebrated, prominent traditions, must-visit places to experience Ramadan, delicious food and drink associated with the festivities, exciting events and festivals to immerse yourself in, as well as essential cultural practices to observe during Ramadan.
Introduction to Ramadan in Egypt
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, marks the momentous occasion when the Quran was originally revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. This holy month is of immense importance to Muslims worldwide, who observe it by fasting from sunrise to sunset. The fast is broken at sundown with a special meal known as iftar.
In Egypt, Ramadan is celebrated with enthusiasm and unity as people come together to embrace the essence and values of this holy month.
How is Ramadan celebrated in Egypt?
Ramadan is a time of great enthusiasm and devotion in Egypt. The month is marked by the booming sound of the cannon, which symbolises the end of the fast at sunset.
Egyptians come together to eat iftar, a meal consisting of dates, soup and traditional delicacies.
In addition to fasting and prayer, Ramadan also fosters strong bonds within families and communities in Egypt. People exchange visits, while the streets are decorated with bright lights and banners. Mosques host nightly taraweeh prayers, encouraging people to stay up late.
Famous Ramadan Traditions in Egypt
Egypt is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, and Ramadan is certainly no different. There are many distinctive traditions in Egypt that are observed during this holy month.
Among these customs, one that stands out is the lantern, also known as the fanoos. These vibrant lanterns are placed in front of homes and public places, adding to the joyful atmosphere of Ramadan.
Another prominent tradition is that of the mesaharaty, a person who walks the streets before sunrise to wake people up for Suhoor, the pre-dawn meal. Equipped with a drum, the mesaharaty sings traditional melodies to wake up the population.
Top places to experience Ramadan in Egypt
Egypt, a nation rich in heritage and tradition, offers many opportunities to immerse yourself in the essence of Ramadan. Cairo, with its bustling streets echoing with the booming sound of cannons and the vibrant glow of lanterns illuminating the night sky, stands out as an exceptional place to embrace the spirit of Ramadan.
Likewise, Luxor is an excellent destination where one can participate in time-honoured rituals and savor the delicious local cuisine to truly experience the beauty of Ramadan.
Eating and drinking during Ramadan in Egypt
In Egypt, food and drinks are of great importance during Ramadan.
The evening meal, known as iftar, marks the breaking of the fast at sundown and typically consists of traditional dishes such as dates, soup and more. Equally important is the pre-dawn meal known as Suhoor, which provides energy for the day ahead.
Some of the most popular drinks during Ramadan in Egypt include the delicious and tangy hibiscus tea called karkadeh. Tamarind juice and qamar al-din, a rich apricot juice, are also popular.
Ramadan Events and Festivals in Egypt
In Egypt, Ramadan is celebrated with various events and festivals. One notable event is the famous Ramadan Lantern Festival in Cairo, where thousands of colorful lanterns are displayed.
There are also ‘Ramadan tents‘ where people gather with their loved ones and enjoy the pleasant atmosphere, accompanied by traditional oriental music. Throughout the night, they indulge in delicious Ramadan delicacies such as ‘konafa‘ and ‘katayef‘, accompanied by refreshing Ramadan drinks.