Islam is the main religion of Egypt with almost 90% of it's population practicing the religion. Other religions are Christianity, who form about another 10%. The city of Cairo has very beautiful Mosques. I noticed many of the young people are very religious and offer prayer at least twice a day!
I also noticed after talking to a few educated young people, they hardly have any knowledge about other religions practiced in the other parts of the world. I also noticed, they are very tolerant abouth the other religions!
Ramadan is a month of fasting when Moslems will not eat or drink anything between sunrise and sunset. After the fast is broken they have a meal and some people then have a late supper and another meal before dawn, called the sahoor. Ramadan can last from 27-30 days depending on when the new moon s are seen.
At the Eid all males go nto do communal prayers and then celebrate by visiting, going on picnics etc.
The streets may be decorated and from the beginning of Ramadan a lamp or fanoos will be hung up either outside the house or in the street. This is particularly common in Egypt but not everywhere in the Islamic world.
While I enjoyed going with my wife and I could tell when we kissed and held hands some people felt uncomfortable. We didn't stop doing it but we tried to limit since this is something that isn't widely accepted in the their Islamic culture.
The Mulid always falls on a Monday, but the date shifts according to the Lunar Calendar. This year ,2006, it falls on Monday 10 April.
Different countries in the Arab world celebrate in different ways.
In Cairo I noticed the shops that normally sell confectionary and pastries, have changed their window displays to the traditional sweets produced for the Mulid. These are normally sugar based with nuts in [ peanuts, chick peas, pigeon peas, sesame seeds] , or coconut ice, or Turkish Delight. In other Moslem countries sweets are made in the form of a bride. [In Sudan a bright red colour], or horsemen etc. In Cairo today there are dolls dressed as brides as part of the decor, or hanging in ordinary shops.
Originally there would have been several days before the actual day, where men gathered in tents to chant religious verses, beat drums or tambourines.
The town of Tanta in Egypt was famous for its Mulid holiday festivities.
In Cairo people go visiting their relatives.
When the holy month of Ramandan starts many restaurants open til late to serve the second meal,which is called Sohoor.
most restaurants change their decor to fit the spirit of Ramadan,and play old classic Arabic music,some even have live music.
Here is a setting of a cafe at the First Mall part of the Four Seasons hotel, they changed the whole table settings,you can check my shopping tips of the first mall to see the diffirence.
One of the sponcers of this tent is Wadi Degla(check my sports tips of Cairo).
Hajj or in another word (pilgrimage)...is the 2nd celebration in the Islamic calendar.
On the 9th day of the Hajj month, most Muslims fast this day for it`s believed that fasting this day will wash away all sins made through the past year,in Cairo many night spots closes for the spirit of this day.......and even the ones which are open refrain from serving Alcohol for the locals and other muslims.
Next day is called Eid,which most Muslims slaughter either sheeps,goats or cows to feed the poor.......
In Egypt and some other Arabic countries call this Eid (The Big Eid) or in Arabic EL Eid El Kebeer.
Here is a picture of the sheeps the night before the Eid,,waiting and not knowing what the future hides for them.
I got to take some picuters of free breakfast for the poor...prepared by charity organisations.
The pictures are not great as I couldnt stop the heavy traffic passing infront of me.
This was in Zamalek area.
I have visited Cairo during the holy month of Ramadan - and I am quite happy I did.
Despite the fact that some locals might be a bit more irritable?, it was a special experience for me.
It felt as if people made me part of what they were doing, and I did not eat or drink on street, out of respect.
But what a great atmosphere after 6 (sunset)! [Iftar = breaking the fast with an evening meal]
Cairo comes alive and the buzz doesn't stop until he next morning.
I would visit any Islamic country again during Ramadan.
When greeting people, be careful of your reactions to the opposite sex. Men should especially not shake hands with native women unles they initiate the greeting. Women should avoid contact with strange men. Many families still hold conservative islamic views on gender mixing. In some poorer, more conservative areas if a man is talking to a man and wife, the wife is almost always ignored. This is not rude but rather shows respect to your host.
The holy month of Ramadan is when all Muslims around the world fast from food and drink from dawn until the sun set.
In Cairo it is so special because the rich people tend to set tables with very nutritious food for the poor who can not afford to have any breakfast at sunset.
You will see tables set just before the sunset prayers all over the city side walks.Which is called(Mawa`ed el Rahman)in the Egyptian accent.or in another word,(the merceful Lord table).
They even have volinteers to serve the poor people while they break their fasting,it`s something I did not see before,not in any other Islamic country.
4 Reviews and 251 Opinions You must go through a street barrack and through metal detectors just to get to the elevator and get...
5 Reviews and 316 Opinions If you are seeking a luxurious trip to Egypt, then the Four Seasons Hotel is the only place to stay....
Mena House Oberoi Cairo Cairo
23 Reviews and 133 Opinions This is the best hotel I have been. It was Sultans Palace and it was renovated and started to be...