Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, is a special time of the year for Muslims around the world, and Egypt is no exception. As the most populous Arab country, Egypt is known for its rich Islamic heritage, and during Ramadan, the country comes alive with a unique set of traditions and customs. From the stunning decorations to the mouthwatering food, Egypt has its own magical way of celebrating this sacred month.
The first and most noticeable tradition in Egypt during Ramadan is the decoration. Streets, buildings, and homes are adorned with colorful lanterns, known as “fawanees” in Arabic. These lanterns are traditionally made of colored glass or metal and are often shaped like stars or crescents. They symbolize the festive spirit and the arrival of Ramadan. Walking through the bustling streets of Egypt during this time is like stepping into a different world, with the glow of these lanterns illuminating the entire city.
Another important tradition during Ramadan in Egypt is the call for the “mesaharati.” The mesaharati is a person who walks around the neighborhoods, waking up the community for suhoor, the pre-dawn meal before the fasting day begins. Dressed in traditional clothing and carrying a drum, the mesaharati roams the streets, chanting songs and blessings. Children eagerly await the mesaharati’s arrival, as they have the opportunity to join the mesaharati in their songs or simply receive blessings for a prosperous month ahead.
One of the most beloved traditions in Egypt during Ramadan is the night-time entertainment known as “Mawa’ed Al Rahman.” These typically take place in public squares or parks and feature musical performances, storytelling, and other forms of cultural entertainment. Families and friends gather to enjoy the festivities, creating a sense of community and solidarity. There is often a unique sense of joy and excitement in the air during these events, as people celebrate the blessings of Ramadan together.
No Ramadan in Egypt is complete without the mouthwatering food that is available during iftar, the evening meal to break the fast. Egyptian cuisine is well-known worldwide, and during this holy month, the country showcases some of its finest dishes. Traditional Egyptian favorites such as koshari, foul.
At the end of the month of Ramadan, the Egyptians make the Eid Kahk (biscuits), and on the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, families exchange Kahk dishes with each other. On the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, family and friends exchange visits and congratulations on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr after the Eid prayer in congregation, and the adults give the little children money what is called the Edya. It is a symbolic amount of money for children to buy sweets and toys on holidays, and most Egyptians eat fish on the first day of Eid al-Fitr.