During Public holidays in Cairo the Government services and businesses close down during major Islamic holidays. As for Ramadan, restaurants or diners wait till the evenings to layout the sumptuous feats called If-tar.
The streets of Luxor, Aswan, and Cairo make up a unique blend of colorful chaos. The liveliness gets better during public holidays when the masses pour onto the streets in a spectacular showcase of human socialization at it’s finest. For the millions of bustling Egyptians packed into Cairo, this is their treasured homeland - the cradle of mankind. Public holidays in Cairo are a spectacle. At the very least, the overwhelming flow of vans, taxis, horses, donkeys, and motorcycles that mark regular workdays, drop down to a fraction. Many families take time to explore and visit sights during the holidays as the sights are invaluable. Here are some of the top holidays in Cairo.
Christians make 15 percent of Egypt’s 100 million-plus population. Most of the Christians in the Arab-majority nation are part of the Coptic Orthodox church. Christmas celebrations are marked on the 7th of January instead of 25th which is observed universally. The month leading to Christmas is Kiahk and weekend prayers culminating in hearty Sunday services. Established during the Byzantine era, The Holy Nativity Fast’ runs just about the same time and is marked by refraining from consuming animal products.
Revolution Day (1982)
Revolution Day evokes patriotic feelings and emotions that mark the making of the Egyptian Republic. The celebrations commemorate the military coup that occurred on the 23rd of July 1952 and brought an end to the repressive monarchy and the founding of an independent state. As a public holiday, the public is dazzled with a spectacle of televised concerts and military parades.
Revolution Day (2011)
On this day Former Egyptian President Hosni Sayyid Mubarak met his untimely fate and resigned from power after a popular uprising paralyzed the country. The former president was later prosecuted after which he retired into a self-imposed exile in Sharm El-Sheik.
The flag of Egypt was raised across the Sinai Peninsula on the 25th of April during the 1982 historic moment. This marked the beginning of a long-lasting truce between Israel and Egypt, finally bringing about peace to their once-hostile border.
Eid Al Fitr
Eid Al Fitr marks the end of the Ramadhan festival. Eid is an Arabic word meaning festivity. When fully interpreted, it means “Festival of breaking the fast.” Eid Al Fitr is all about thanksgiving to Allah for his grace and safekeeping. Egyptians across the country mark it with feasting and social family time. The day is marked by prayers at the nearby mosque after which some head to the Fustat public gardens for celebration. Eidi is a celebrated custom when elders in the family hand out gifts or money to the young ones. Thousands flock to the Giza zoo to check out the wild animals. The customary greeting during this day is “Eid Mubarak.”
Eid Al Adha
Eid Al Adha marks the end of Hajj which is the pilgrim journey made to Mecca. What the words mean is “Festival of the sacrifice” and is an important day in the Islamic calendar. Its historical significance celebrates the triumph of the Prophet Abraham. Like most other Egyptian celebrations, it is marked with a special meal in a social setting so as to convey harmony and sanctity of life and relationships.
Ph: Novie Magne