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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

All You Need to Know about Ramadan in Egypt

Mon 11 Mar 2024 | 07:17 PM
Ahmed Emam

Ramadan is a sacred month in Islam during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. They abstain from food, water, and smoking. This month is a time for family, community, charity, and spirituality. In Egypt, there are some enjoyable things associated with Ramadan.

Most of the traditions and rituals of Islam originated in Egypt. Therefore, people in the country remain highly disciplined while fasting and offering prayers during Ramadan.

They decorate their homes with Ramadan lanterns, known as fanoos, and organize iftars for families. In many cities, the beginning of iftars after evening prayers is marked by the firing of cannons. Muslims prepare numerous delicacies to break their fast.

- Mesaharaty

Drummers, known as Mesaharaty or Musaharati, get on the streets early in the morning to wake people up and eat a pre-dawn meal known as Sahur. The month ends with the countrywide celebration of Eid ul-Fitr.

- Fasting

For fasting Egyptians, the two main meals of the day are Iftar at 6:01 pm and Sohour. Sohour is technically what people eat or drink right before sunrise, but in Cairo, Sohour starts at 10:30 pm and lasts until sunrise. At almost all restaurants, cafes, and street vendors across the city, happy groups of people eat, have shisha, and play cards and dominoes all throughout the night.

- Kheyam Ramadan

Many hotels have 'Kheyam Ramadan', which are Ramadan tents. They serve Sohour food, Ramadan-y drinks, shisha, and usually have some kind of live Arabic music, all in a very festive atmosphere.

- Mawa'ed Rahman

Throughout the city, there are different 'Mawa'ed rahman', which are tables set up in different neighborhoods daily at Iftar time to provide free food and drinks for the less fortunate.

- Fanoos Ramadan (Ramadan lanterns)

Many Egyptians buy a 'Fanoos Ramadan', a mid-sized lantern that people decorate their homes or places of business with during the holy month. The fanoos vendors create beautiful displays, which are a great photo opportunity.

- Mosques

People usually offer prayers in the congregation during Ramadan. They gather at the nearby mosque to offer evening prayers. Many also recite verses from the holy book of the Quran to pay respect to the Quran and Allah. Additionally, Ramadan in Egypt is more of a family-oriented gathering to promote brotherhood.

- Break

Family members celebrate Ramadan by preparing delicious and traditional food for iftar. People visit relatives and friends and vice versa for iftar. Many organize free iftar meals and give them to the poor and needy. In Egypt, no one remains without iftar food after the break of the fast.