Christmas in Egypt: A Magical Celebration
Christmas is widely regarded as the most enchanting time of the year, and what better place to experience it than Christmas in Egypt, a country known for its captivating architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture. However, did you know that Egypt also has its own distinct traditions that make Christmas celebrations here truly unique? Egypt holds a special significance as it is believed that the Holy Family sought refuge in Egypt when Jesus was an infant.
Interesting Tidbits About Christmas in Egypt
In every nook and cranny of Egypt, you’ll find dazzling displays of lights, Christmas trees, and traditional decorations that add to the festive cheer. Here are a few intriguing facts about Christmas in Egypt:
- Christmas in Egypt is joyously celebrated on the 7th of January each year.
- The Egyptian population observes a 43-day period of fasting, also known as “lent fasting,” which commences from the 25th of November and continues until the 6th of January.
- During this fast, they strictly adhere to a vegan diet, abstaining from consuming any form of meat or dairy products, including chicken, beef, milk, cheese, and eggs.
- On Christmas day, the tradition involves distributing “Zalabya” (donuts) and “Bouri” (Mullet Fish) to the less fortunate individuals.
- In Egypt, Santa Claus is endearingly referred to as “Baba Noel,” which translates to “Father Christmas.”
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Getting to Egypt: The Ultimate Guide
The most convenient way to embark on your Egyptian adventure is by air. Cairo International Airport and Luxor International Airport serve as the major gateways into Egypt. Upon arrival, you can easily hail a taxi or board a bus to transfer to your hotel and embrace the joyous Christmas atmosphere. For those with more time on their hands, an alternative option is to embark on a delightful cruise journey with friends to reach Egypt.
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Egypt Christmas Climate
Throughout the Christmas season, the climate in Egypt has the potential to reach 23°C during the day and decrease to 15°C in the evening. Generally, travelers intending to visit Egypt for Christmas will find it incredibly pleasant to travel during this month, as the humidity and heat are minimal, creating the ideal conditions to fully enjoy and encounter Christmas in a unique manner in Egypt.
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Activities To Partake In During Christmas In Egypt
Even though Christmas isn’t as commercialized as it is in Western countries, Christmas in Egypt is regarded as more of an unpretentious and spiritual occurrence that can be shared with loved ones. Here are a few enjoyable activities to engage in during Christmas in Egypt:
1. Egypt: Browse for Christmas provisions
Who would mind devoting time to shopping in Egypt, as there are numerous shops, stalls, and shopping centers brimming with distinctive products where one can spend countless hours indulging in retail therapy. There are a variety of items available to purchase at the markets or malls, depending on one’s personal preferences or the preferences of their family. Be sure to begin your shopping spree early.
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2. Egypt: Hear the account of the Holy Family’s journey to the country
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What makes the Christmas season even more special in Egypt is the narratives of the Holy Family’s journey with the young Jesus. They spent approximately four years residing in Egypt, where their expedition initially commenced from Sinai at Al-Farma, which borders Gaza, after they escape from Jerusalem and concluding it in Tarnaka, Assuit. This is certainly something that must not be overlooked as these narratives will provide you with insight into how the Holy Family spent their time traveling and encountering individuals across Egypt with Christ.
3. Saint Mark’s Cathedral: Attend the Christmas Eve Mass
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This particular cathedral is regarded as the principal cathedral situated in Egypt. You can anticipate the cathedral to be brimming with attendees during the Christmas Eve Mass, where everyone communally prays and sings together while listening to the narratives of Jesus. This is unquestionably a distinctive experience as there are several diverse traditions involved during the mass, making this experience genuinely exceptional. Moreover, the mass is broadcasted nationwide through radio and television in case anyone is unable to attend the Christmas Eve Mass.
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4. Egypt: Indulge in a Christmas banquet
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You can also relish in the genuine Christmas banquet on January 7th. This day signifies the conclusion of the fasts observed throughout the month, and you can certainly expect to be delighted with delectable portions of meat and ‘Fata’ – a mouthwatering and flavorful lamb broth that consists of bread, garlic, rice, and boiled lamb meat. Ensure to savor these Egyptian delicacies.
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5. Egypt: Swap presents with family and friends
This is one of the most renowned customs observed across the globe, where relatives and buddies come together and swap presents, which they have purchased for each other. If this is too commercial for you, then you can distribute food among the underprivileged for a change. So, don’t overlook that Christmas is also the time to contribute to those in need.
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Now, several hotels such as the Mena House are recognized for creating the most exceptional winter wonderland for Christmas. There is frosted snow, fireplaces, and much more, which will certainly provide you with the Christmas experience you desire. Reserve a trip to Egypt today to celebrate Christmas in Egypt from a unique perspective and relish an extended Christmas celebration while ushering in the New Year.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas in Egypt
How do they observe Christmas in Egypt?
Most Egyptian Christians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church and they have some very distinct customs for Christmas. Christmas Day isn’t celebrated on the 25th of December but on the 7th of January.
Why does Egypt commemorate Christmas on January 7th?
As a result, the Eastern Orthodox Christians were separated from the Western Catholic and Protestant Christians, since the Easterners observe Christmas on January 7th, and the Westerners celebrate it on December 25.
What do Egyptians do on Christmas Day?
On Christmas Day, people come together for parties and festivities. Some bring kahk, special sweet cookies, to give as gifts.
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