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Religious Occasions

Thursday، 19 May 2016 12:00 AM

Religious occasions are numerous in Egypt. They are characterized by folkloric elements some of which go back to pre-Islamic times. These elements, however, may change in keeping with the passing of time.

1. Ashura:
Muslim Sunnis and Shi’is celebrate Ashura’ on 10 Moharrem, the first month of the Hijri year. Egyptian Muslims, mainly Sunni, celebrate Ashoura’ by reading verses from The Holy Qur’an, singing religious songs, and preparing rich foods that include meat, chicken and pheasants. Social and family commitments are observed on that day. The bride and groom-to be pay a visit to his/her future in-laws and presents ’al-musem’ (a gift) to his/her fiancée. This is usually a contribution to the setting up of their home.

2. Al-Mawled Al-Nabawi Al-Sharif (The Prophet’s Birthday):
Al-Mawled Al-Nabawi is celebrated on 12 Rabie’ Al-Awal. It is an occasion marked with greatest of festivities as the counterpart of Christmas in the west. Children are offered sweets, gifts and Al Mouled’s doll.

3. Al-Israa’ Wa Al-Mi’raj:
The eve of 27 Ragab is an occasion for celebrating Al-Israa’ (the prophet’s journey to Jerusalem) and Al-Mi’raj (his ascent to heaven).

4. The Eve of Mid-Sha’ban:
The eve of mid-Sha’ban is an occasion celebrated in a manner similar to the eve of Al Israa’ wa Al-Mi’raj.

5. Eid Al-Fitr:
Eid Al-Fitr (the feast that follows Ramadan’s feast) is rich in folkloric elements. It lasts from three to five days during which Muslims celebrate the joys of life and remember their dead as well. Preparations For the feast begin in the last fifteen or ten days of Ramadan. New clothes are bought, particularly for children. Cookies are prepared and houses are stocked with peanuts, fenugreek, lupine, nuts and dates in accordance with the availability of financial means.

6. Eid Al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice):
Eid Al-Adha is the feast of sacrifice and it coincides with the performance of Haj (the pilgrimage to Mecca). The feast begins on 10 Zu Al-Hijja and last five days.

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