Renowned Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass said that celebrating with Spring and having salted fish meals are inherited habits from Ancient Egypt as they used to salt and dry the fish in the old Canopus city, currently known as Abu Qir. Also, they were the earlier people who packed the fish.
Moreover, they served it for guests, in addition to adding it to their meals.
Regarding the Egyptians’ celebrations with Spring Day (Sham El Nasim), Hawass asserted that all kinds of dried fish Egyptians use to eat nowadays are like the kinds Ancient Egyptians had.
Their process consisted of several stages started with fishing, then getting the captured fish back to the Nile after placing it in certain tied boxes. This process gave the Ancient Egyptians the chance of using fresh fish whenever they needed.
The Egyptologist explained that the captured fish was never stolen due to the huge available quantities of fish.
Regarding the eggs, Hawass explained that Ancient Egyptians came across eggs in 5 B.C. and they imported chicken and eggs from the Persian cultures.
Therefore, eggs were precious gift for the pharaoh. On the other hand, Ancient Egyptian used to gift the wives a lotus flower in early morning on that special day. Next, family members gathered to decorate eggs celebrating the cheerfulness of life.
Finally, Hawass concluded that Greek and Roman philosophers believed that the universe was a divided egg, the upper part became the earth’s sky, and the second became the earth itself.
So, Spring Day (Sham El Nasim) turned to be a national and social celebration for all Egyptians regardless of their religions.
It symbolizes the beauty and continuity of life and its beauty after winter.
Contributed by: Rana Atef