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Top 13 Holidays & Festivals in Egypt in 2021

Festivals in Egypt, particularly religious ones, have a prominent place in the calendar, as a good Muslim country. In addition to Islamic festivals, there are commemorative dates for political events and those that belong to the Coptic tradition.

The holidays in Egypt consist of numerous and strict rites that are carefully developed, including every Friday, which is the holy day for Islam in which no activity other than prayer is carried out. In Muslim celebrations, the faithful go to mosques and there are very strict recommendations regarding the food that should be consumed on those days.

 

 

A list of Holidays, Events, and Festivals in Egypt:

  • Moulid Al-Nabi (in October)
  • Sayeda Zeinab’s Moulid (in March)
  • Pharaonic Wedding (in October)
  • Wafaa Al Nil (in August)
  • Moulid of El-Hussein (in October & December)
  • Abu Simbel Festival (in October)
  • Sham al Nessim (in April)
  • Art festival (in August)
  • Eid Fitr (in May)
  • Eid al Adha (in July)
  • Moulid Abu el-Haggag (in July)
  • Coptic Christmas in Egypt (in January)
  • Egyptian National Day (in November)

Egypt is a true paradise with state, religious, and private holidays, which appreciate the Islamic as well as the Christian religion. The Egyptians accompany their friends and relatives to the airport with honk concerts when they go on pilgrimage to Mecca. And the birth of a child can quickly turn into a street festival. Joy, as well as suffering – the Egyptian lets his surroundings, participate in it unmistakably.

Weddings are celebrated in all kinds of ways. Singing loudly, people wander the streets when simple families celebrate the wedding of their children. Of course, the more affluent celebrate in a five-star hotel and invite the “closest” 300 or 400 friends to a festive dinner.

Such prestigious occasions are then hard to be overheard since the marching-in with drummers and singers takes a good hour and paralyzes the life of every hotel foyer. And the wedding night, the Laylat Al Dokhla, the young couple never spends in their parents’ apartment or their own, but always in a different place. Anything else would augur bad luck.

Egypt has more celebrations and festivals than most other countries in the world, mixing Coptic, Christian, Islamic, and normal, secular holidays. Three different calendars are also used Western Gregorian, Coptic, and Islamic Hejira. Of greatest importance are the Muslim festivals, which are based on the Islamic calendar.

The counting of time in lunar years begins in 622 AD with the Hijra, the emigration of the Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Medina. Compared to the Gregorian calendar, the dates of the shorter lunar calendar shift forward by ten to eleven days each year.

Since the Islamic calendar is purely lunar, Ramadan gradually moves through the seasons and, according to the western calendar, begins each year about eleven days earlier than the previous one. After about 33 years, it has wandered once through the entire solar year.

 

History of Egypt festivals

The long history has bequeathed numerous traditions and rituals that must be put into practice in each of the festivals in Egypt. For this reason, it can be very attractive to visit the country around the dates of celebrations to see how they prepare, with detailed meticulousness, for their manifestations of faith and political commemorations.

The history of Egypt is made up of a series of events that have marked important milestones in the long years of the country’s existence, although everything starts from the settlement of the first communities on the banks of the Nile, then you can see the development and growth who suffer, forging an impressive culture that with its greatest expressions continue to prove its worth.

Over the years, certain political and cultural divisions made this type of growth possible, which is why Egypt was ruled by dynasties that were leaving architectural monuments and buildings in the city, articles, and places that are preserved and admired until today.

 

Main festivals & holidays in Egypt:

1- Anniversary of the Birth of the Prophet Muhammad. ( Moulid Al-Nabi )

The birthday of the founder of Islam is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy in all Muslim countries of the world. It is celebrated on the 12th of Rabei Al Awal, which is the 3rd month of the Muslim calendar. Colorful clothes are scattered on the walls and floors of the streets and party lights are everywhere. The traditional meal of the day includes Halawet Al Moulid, a special kind of sweet nutty candies, Arousset Al Moulid, a sweet doll for girls, and Husan Al Moulid, a horse treats for young children.

2- Sayeda Zeinab’s Moulid

The popular festival celebrated in honor of Sayeda Zeinab, grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad brings together a million people who come from different parts of the Arab world.

3- Pharaonic Wedding

Festivals in Egypt

This festival is the symbol of the ancient civilization of Egypt and takes place in November. This festival is considered an auspicious day for marriages. Couples visit Karnak Temple and get married there.

4- Wafaa Al Nil

This festival is dedicated to one of the symbols of Egypt: the Nile River. It is one of the oldest festivals in Egypt. In the current scenario, painting contests, poetry sessions, seminars, and music concerts are held, which are the highlight of this festival during September.

5- Moulid of El-Hussein

Festivals in Egypt
Sufism celebrate the birth of Sayyidna Al Hussein

It is one of the most popular street festivals held throughout the year. It takes place over a week and culminates on the last Wednesday of the Islamic month of Rabbi el-Tani. It is celebrated in the El-Hussein Mosque, in honor of the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who was killed in Iraq in 680.

6- Abu Simbel Festival

Festivals in Egypt
Abu Simbel Temple in Aswan

This Egyptian festival is associated with the ancient temple of Abu Simbel in Egypt and highlights the ancient traditional rituals of Egypt. This holiday is celebrated on February 22.

Are you planning your vacation to Egypt? These travel articles give you all the information you need when getting started planning your trip!

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7- Sham Al Nessim – One of the most famous festivals in Egypt

It is an ancient Egyptian festival that is still practiced by Muslims and Christians today. The name means the smell of spring and is celebrated in this season. It is a one-day festival in which Muslims and Christians meet and go outdoors for picnics where there are salted fish, colored eggs, and onions.

Some people prefer to take a motorboat for two hours and hang out along the Nile in a very large garden known as Al Qanater Al Khayria. Here they ride horses or rent QW bikes and spend the day. Sham Al Naseem is a day when every part of the country is busy and full of people and happy faces are everywhere.

Read more about Easter in Egypt

8- Art festival

This Art festival in Egypt is celebrated from August 24 to 31. It is one of the largest art festivals in the Arab world. Besides these festivals and traditions, the most important event in Egypt is Ramadan or Ramzan as it is named in some countries. Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam is also called Ramadan. It is regarded as the most blessed and spiritually beneficial month of the Islamic year. Ramadan or Ramzan has a special flavor among the events of Egypt. It is celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout Egypt, as well as in other Muslim countries. Many Muslim tourists visit Egypt during Ramadan.

9- Eid Fitr – One of Muslims main festivals in Egypt

Festivals in Egypt
Egyptians celebrate Eid al-Fitr

It is a three-day festival that marks the end of the Ramadan fast. Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr always come on the same date in the Muslim calendar, but they differ in the Western calendar, which is also used in Egypt. The two festivals usually move for up to 11 days each year the Muslim calendar is based on the lunar cycle and the Western calendar is based on the solar cycle.

10- Eid al Adha – One of Muslims main festivals in Egypt

The religious event begins about 70 days after the end of Ramadan and is dedicated to Abraham’s sacrifice of a sheep in place of his son. This event lasts for four days.

11- Moulid Abu el-Haggag

The Sheikh of Luxor, Egypt, is a street festival celebrated every year by the Moulid Abu el-Haggag, a few weeks before Ramadan. It manifests itself with a procession from Luxor Temple to the Muhammad Abu al-Haggag Mosque. This procession is accompanied by various musical performances and a boat decorated in memory of the god Amun is on display.

12- Coptic Christmas in Egypt – One of the most famous holidays in Egypt

Coptic Christmas is celebrated on January 7, 13 days after Catholic Christmas Day. Coptic families celebrate the birth of Christ first in church, then they gather for a big Christmas feast. Traditionally, the menu consists of garlic, rice, and meat dishes.

They also prepare Kahk (sweet cookies). The Coptic Christmas meal announces the beginning of Lent. Christmas is celebrated in several Egyptian cities, but especially in Alexandria and Old Cairo, where there are more Copts.

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13- Egyptian National Day

October 06 is a national holiday. An occasion to celebrate the victory of Israel during the Yom Kippur War. As in any national holiday, the armed forces will be honored with parades and air shows. Great shows will also be organized for the people.

 


 

So, are you planning your trip to Egypt?

Get a taste of the past on your trip to Egypt when booking one of our Egypt Vacation Packages, where you walk in the footsteps of the pharaohs through ancient temples and monuments.

On your Egypt tour, spend your days in Cairo visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, then sail away on a Nile cruise to Luxor and Aswan by booking an Egypt Nile Cruise Package. Relax in the Red Sea and swim among playful dolphins and colorful corals.

About the author

Magdy Fattouh (Migo) is a creative content marketer and expert in search engines for over 5 years. He manifests his passion in his role as a Creative Content Writer especially in travel where he strives to evoke a strong sense of place in his write-ups.

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