Christmas is considered to be the most magical time of the year, and what a better way to celebrate it than spending Christmas in Egypt since the country boasts a rich architecture, history and culture. But, did you know that it is also famous for its unique traditions that are carried out during Christmas time? Egypt is considered to be a holy place as it is believed that the Holy Family spent time in Egypt with the infant Jesus.
Fun Facts About Christmas In Egypt
Every nook and corner in Egypt is decorated on Christmas with lights, Christmas trees, and the usual Christmas decoration. Here are a few facts about Christmas in Egypt we thought you’d like to know:
1. Christmas in Egypt is celebrated on January 7 annually.
2. Egyptians also fast for a period of 43 days, which is also known as “lent fasting”, which starts from November 25th-January 6th.
3. During this fast, they only consume vegan items which exclude any meat or dairy products such as chicken, beef, milk, cheese, and eggs.
4. On Christmas day people distribute “Zalabya” (donuts) and “Bouri” (Mullet Fish) to the poor.
5. In Egypt, Santa Claus is called Baba Noel, which means Father Christmas.
How To Reach Egypt
The best way to reach Egypt is by air, you can either land in the Cairo International Airport or Luxor International Airport, which are known as the main airports in Egypt. Thereafter, you can easily hail a cab or a bus from the airport and make your way to your hotel before you get into the Christmas spirit. If you have more time on your hands, then you can even plan on reaching Egypt by taking a cruise with your friends.
Egypt Christmas Weather
During Christmas time, the weather in Egypt can touch 23°C during the day and drop to 15°C during the evening. Usually, tourists planning on visiting Egypt for Christmas would be really comfortable traveling during this December, as there is low humidity and heat, making it the perfect weather to enjoy and experience Christmas differently in Egypt.
Things To Do During Christmas In Egypt
Even though Christmas isn’t as commercial as it is in Western countries here, Christmas in Egypt is considered to be more of a humble and spiritual experience that you can share with your family and friends. Here a few fun things to do during Christmas in Egypt:
1. Egypt: Shop for Christmas supplies
Who would mind spending time shopping in Egypt, there are many shops, stalls, and malls filled with unique items where you can spend countless hours shopping. There are many things which you can purchase at the souks or at the mall depending on what you or your family like to splurge on. Make sure to get an early head start.
2. Egypt: Listen to the story of the Holy Family’s trip to the country
What makes Christmas time even more special in Egypt, is the stories of the Holy Family’s trip with the infant Jesus. They spent about 4 years living in Egypt, where their journey initially started from Sinai at Al-Farma, which borders Gaza, after they flee from Jerusalem and ending it in Tarnaka, Assuit. This is definitely something which shouldn’t be missed as these stories will give you the insight on how the Holy Family spent their time traveling and meeting people across Egypt with Christ.
3. Cathedral of Saint Mark: Attend the Christmas Eve Mass
This particular cathedral is considered to be the main cathedral’s located in Egypt. You can expect the cathedral to be filled during the Christmas Eve Mass, where everyone collectively prays and sings together listening to the stories of Jesus. This is definitely a unique experience as there are a few different customs involved during the mass making this experience truly unique. And, the mass is broadcasted all over the country over radio and tv just in case anyone is unable to make it to the Christmas Eve Mass.
4. Egypt: Enjoy a Christmas feast
You can also take pleasure in the authentic Christmas feast on January 7th. This day marks the is an end to the fasts held throughout the month, you can definitely expect to be treated with delicious cuts of meat and ‘Fata’ – a scrumptious and flavourful lamb soup which has bread, garlic, rice and boiled lamb meat. Make sure to feast on these Egyptian delights.
Suggested Read: 10 Mystical Places To Visit In Egypt, The Gift Of The Nile!
5. Egypt: Exchange gifts with family and friends
This is one of the most famous traditions held all over the world, where families and friends come together and exchange gifts, which they have bought for each other. If this is too commercial for you, then you can distribute food among the poor for a change. So, don’t forget Christmas is also the time to give back to the ones in need.
Now, many of the hotels such as the Mena House are known to create the most unique winter wonderland for Christmas. There is frosted snow, fireplaces and much more, which will definitely give you the Christmas experience you are looking for. Book a trip to Egypt today to celebrate Christmas in Egypt in a different light and enjoy an extended Christmas celebration while bringing in the New Year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Christmas in Egypt
A. Most Egyptian Christians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church and they have some very unique traditions for Christmas. Christmas Day isn’t celebrated on the 25th of December but on the 7th of January.
A. As a result, the Eastern Orthodox Christians were separated from the Western Catholic and Protestant Christians, since the Easterners celebrate Christmas on January 7th, and the Westerners celebrate it on December 25
A. On Christmas Day, people come together for parties and festivities. Some bring kahk, special sweet biscuits, to give as gifts.
A. Fatta, a soup consisting of bread, rice, garlic, and boiled lamb meat, is a popular dish for this meal.
A. Egypt Public & National Holidays:
1. Coptic Christmas Day.
2. Revolution Day (January 25)
3. Coptic Easter Sunday.
4. Sham El Nessim.
5. Sinai Liberation Day.
6. Labour Day.
7. End of Ramadan / Eid el Fitr.
A. On the Eve of Christmas everyone goes to church wearing a completely new outfit.
A. On that day many people distribute zalabya(donuts)and bouri(mullet fish) to the poor.
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