Festivals and Public Holidays in Egypt
Public holidays in Egypt are celebrated by the entire population and it has many classifications. Some holidays are religious and others are secular, while some can be fixed holidays and others are movable. In Egypt, we have four Islamic holidays in Egypt and two Christian holidays.
Moreover, we have national and social festivals some of them are considered holidays and others are not.
Most of Egyptians work 6 days weekly while a few of them work only 5 days as government offices and ministries in Egypt rest on Friday of each week, while banks and many institutes have non- working days on Saturdays and much other administration area are not working on Sundays. So we can talk about all these festivals and holidays in Egypt on the following points.
1- Islamic Festivals and Holidays.
2- Coptic Festivals.
3- National Festivals & Holidays
4- Social Festivals.
A * Islamic Festivals in Egypt
1- First of Moharam
It’s a new Hijary or Islamic year according to the Islamic calendar. And it’s considered a holiday for all Egyptians.
2- Rabea Awaal 12th
It’s a major Islamic festival that marks the birthday of the prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) we call it in Egypt “Moulid al Nabawy“. Most streets are filled with acrobats, drummers, and musicians. Families join together to greet each other and exchange gifts like the traditional sweets “Halawet El-Moulid” (a type of halvah or candy) and candy dolls are called are sold from roadside stands as well as hummus (a puree made from chickpeas), the traditional food of Moulid an-Nabi. And it’s also a holiday in Egypt for all Egyptians.
3- Ragab 27th & 15 of Shaban
All Muslims in Egypt are celebrating by 27th of Ragab which is called “Laylat El-Esraa & Miraj” the day that prophet Muhammad is believed to have ascended to heaven. It is a national holiday in Egypt in some Muslim countries.
4- Shaban 15th Night
It’s a special night that the prophet Mohamed has mentioned in his Hadeth and people are celebrating by reading a part of the holy book Quraan but it’s not one of the holidays in Egypt.
5- Ramadan in Egypt
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity between sunrise and sunset every day.
People join with their families to break the fast with gigantic feasts called ‘Iftar’. The first item traditionally consumed being dates. To ensure energy levels are maintained throughout the day, Muslims will also rise early before sunrise to once again fuel their bodies with food before the fasting begins this meal is called Suhor.
Ramadan is the highlight of the Islamic calendar, a month-long festival characterized by both great restraint and great indulgence. Visiting Egypt during Ramadan make your Egypt tours full more suspense, you’re likely to see Egyptian at their most generous form. The customary greeting to be recited wherever possible has a generous Ramadan or “Ramadan Kareem“.
This month adds more color and fun to the country. Ramadan nights are totally different from the rest of the year. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. Many Muslims think of it as a kind of tune-up for their spiritual lives. Kids also are celebrating Ramadan by buying Fanoos Ramadan and enjoy its light and music. Of course, the whole month is not considered as holidays in Egypt. The end of the month is commemorated with a three-day festival called ‘Eid ul-Fitr’.
6- Eid Al Fitr
The first day after Ramadan called Shawal it’s 10th month of Islamic Calendar ( from 1st to 3rd of Shawal ) begins a three- or four-day holidays in Egypt called Eid al-Fitr. After the final fast-breaking (Iftar), people often celebrate all night. The next day everyone puts on new clothes to join street festivities with small fairs and open markets while families and friends get together to exchange gifts and sweets most Egyptian are making this sweet at home. Muslim holidays are not on fixed dates because they are on the lunar calendar.
7- Zo-El-Hega 9th
Zo-El-Hega is the 12th month of Islamic Calendar. It’s called Arafat Day where people are doing their Holly Visit to Mecca for Al Hag. Egyptian are fasting on that day and it’s a holiday in Egypt.
8- Al Adha Eid
From 10th to 13th Zo Al Haga Feast of the Sacrifice and It honours the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, as an act of obedience to Allah’s (God) command. Before Ibrahim sacrificed his son, God provided a male animal to sacrifice instead. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one-third of the share is given to the poor and needy, another third is given to relatives, friends, and neighbors, and the remaining third is retained by the family.
January 7 the birth of Jesus Christ according to Coptic Calendar and most Egyptians regardless of religion join in the festivities, especially in Cairo and other Coptic regions. The week before Christmas, homes, and businesses are decked out with colorful lights and decorations, and there are manger scenes and special holiday bazaars in the streets. Following the midnight mass on Christmas Eve, people gather to celebrate and eat a traditional dish of rice, garlic and meat soup called fata.
Holy Easter It’s Mostly in April According to Coptic Calendar
Coptic believers hold an Easter vigil until dawn on Easter Morning. The is known as “The Great Vigil” and the ceremonies will involve a Resurrection play that centers on both the Resurrection and the Ascension. In the beginning, Heaven’s gates are shown shut tight and the room is kept dark to symbolize humanity’s fall into sin.
But later, the light floods in as Christ is said to have risen, opened Heaven’s gate and cleansed humanity of sin. At dawn, the traditional greeting, “Christ is Risen!” is exchanged with other congregants for the traditional response, “He is Risen Indeed!”
Egypt Easter holidays Sunday, large family dinners are served to break the long period of fasting. Fish, meat, eggs, cookies, biscuits, and “Fatteh,” a dish with rice and other ingredients laid on top of a crispy flatbread, are common cuisine choices. New clothes are also bought and worn as Coptic Christians visit family members and friends at their houses.
The National Holidays
The following holidays in Egypt are celebrated across the country, where government offices and ministries are closed.
1- January 25th
Celebrates the day of the beginning of the Egyptian revolution against “President Mubarak” on 25th of January 2011 and it’s also a National Police Day It’s a day off in Egypt.
2- July 23
Egypt is celebrating on July 23 of the Egyptian revolution of 1952 against King Farouk and it was the main reason for ending kingdom of Egypt.
3- 25th of April.
Sinai Liberation Day marks the final withdrawal of all Israeli military forces from the Sinai Peninsula during the rule of President “Mohamed Anwar Sadat” in 1982, a holiday in Egypt.
3- 1st of May ( Workers Day)
Labour Day it’s a day off for all Egyptians.
4- October 6th
Egypt celebrates its first military victory in the October War, which leads to the liberation of Sinai from the occupation, also during the rule of President “Mohamed Anwar Sadat“.
1- Mother’s Day
It’s on March 21 as a kind of appreciation for Egyptians mothers but it’s not a public holiday in Egypt.
2- Spring Day
It has no fixed day but it’s most probably in April or May during spring it’s a Public holiday where Egyptians like to go to national parks and eat dry fish and fruits so when you visit Egypt during that holiday you’ l find everything is different in Egypt.
Travel to Egypt and enjoy the weather, the natural beaches, and the breathtaking ruins such as Karnak temple, Abu Simbel temple, Queen Hatshepsut temple, Valley of the Kings, and other historical landmarks, and don’t worry about the money, Egypt offers a wide variety of tours that suit your pocket, check our Egypt tour packages and choose your favourite journey, in addition to Egypt Nile cruise packages which offers a marvelous experiences through the heart of Egypt, or custom your dream vacation via Egypt tailor-made holidays