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Ramadan in Egypt

The spirit of Ramadan in Egypt is a complex thing to explain; most of the Ramadan traditions in the Muslim world originated from Egypt and now found roots as an important part of their national traditions.

The vibe Ramadan brings along with the first sight of the Ramadan moon remaining intact until the last day of the month. Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims and it brings with its age-old traditions and worship rituals that are only found in Ramadan in Egypt and no other months of the year. Let us discuss some of the stunning facts, customs, traditions, food, and spiritual awakening in the month of Ramadan.

When does it happen?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar, which begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon. The Islamic Calendar has 354 or 355 days in a year, so the Ramadan starts 10-11 days earlier than the Gregorian calendar. The exact time of the Ramadan in Egypt varies from year to year.

Preparation for Ramadan

The preparations of Ramadan are done differently in different households. The residents are decorated with lights, ribbons, and lamps.  The streets of Cairo are very narrow and it is easier to decorate them. You will find all the balconies, gardens, shops, bakeries and others decorated in beautiful lighting that welcomes the blessed month of Ramadan. To help you understand better, Ramadan in Egypt is just like Christmas in other parts of the world. The month is oozes with joy, spirituality, magic, and celebration for young and adults alike.

The Pre-Dawn Meal (Suhoor)

Pre-dawn meal is also called Suhoor in Arabic, it is the meal Muslims eat before the Morning Prayer that is Fajr. In most of the Arab countries, a night caller walks around on street in the middle of the night before Suhoor beating small drum to wake up people for their pre-dawn meal. It is such an astonishing and beautiful tradition, and it is common in Egypt even today.  It is true that Ramadan in Egypt has a vibe and essence of its own, the days, and the nights are much different from the normal days.

Cannon Ramadan

This is another tradition that let people know the timing of Iftar (usually announced by a muezzin from a mosque) also appeared in Cairo. A special cannon located in Salah el-Din Citadel announces by its shooting the start of Iftar. It is normally seen on television channel 1st. The cannon give exactly one shoot at the time of sunset, which means that people can break their fast. The time of fast usually happens after Magrib.

In the time of the rule of Mohamed Ali, It is said that at the same time as Iftar, he was testing a cannon which he bought from Germany in Ramadan. Since then, marking the time of Iftaar and Suhoor has become a tradition every day during Ramadan.

The Initial Ramadan cannon remains a sign of the good old days at The Citadel. The cannon has normally been transported to Al-Darassa Park since the early 1990s on the eve of Ramadan with the crescent sighting. The cannon has been viewed as a tradition and marks a great Islamic year ahead. Egyptian are really attached to their customs and traditions, along with such beautiful additions in Ramadan, there is another necessary act that Muslims follow. Making Charity in abundance and worshipping the one true god is their prime focus.

Special Charity during Ramadan

People usually cook a lot during Ramadan, so it is known that people waste more food during this month than during every other month of the year. However, not every family follow this, at some households, the food is prepared in the right proportion shared with neighbors and poor people to increase the barakah (Blessing). The act of paying zakat and fitra is also mandatory for every Muslim if they need to. It depends on how much gold and money an individual has, and take out a designated amount to distribute among the poor and needy. There are several market places that are open during iftar and people from around the city gather to enjoy the delicious food in the bazaar.

Food and Drinks during Ramadan

The food and drinks of Ramadan in Egypt are mouth-watering, and they have blended years of history and traditions into the recipes and now it tastes so delicious that some bloggers especially travel to Egypt during the month of Ramadan to relish the food. Some dishes are seasonal and you can only find those in Egypt during the month of Ramadan. We are listing down some of the Egyptian food that is proffered in Ramadan.

•  Turkish Style Eggs
•  Rice Pudding With Dates
•  Algerian Bouzgene Berber Bread served with  Pepper Sauce
•  Noni Afghani
•  Syrian Bread
•  Ekmek Turkish Bread
•  Fava Bean Breakfast Spread
•  Black Glutinous Rice Porridge
•  Berber Bread
•  Moroccan Ksra       
•  Egyptian Feta Cheese Omelet Roll
•  Turkish Fish Stew       
•  Moroccan Lentil Soup
•  Harira
•  Eggplant and Lamb Stew
•  Lamb Tagine
•  Pomegranate Stew with Chicken (Khoresh Fesenjan)
•  Mawmenye (Lentils and Beef Stew)
•  Tunisian Lamb with Saffron (Keleya Zaara)
•  Chicken Jalfrezi
•  Indian Mustard Fish
•  Saleeg
•  Spiced Pears and Pomegranate
•  Kobete Chicken
•  Tajin Sibnekh (Tunisian Chicken and Eggs)
•  Fasoliyyeh Bi Z-Zayt
•  Spicy Pakistani Zucchini
•  Smoky Eggplant and Yogurt Salad
•  Moroccan Cooked Pepper Salad
•  Saffron Rice
•  Moroccan Lentil Salad
•  Bissara
•  Beef Samosas
•  Tunisian Harissa
•  Muhammara
•  Hummus I
•  Baba Ghanoush
•  Moutabel
•  Qabali - Afghani Rice
•  Persian Sabzi Polo
•  Shelly's Meat Curry
•  Fig and Lemon Chicken
•  Moroccan Lamb Kabobs

These dishes are some of the most preferred in Egypt during the month of Ramadan. The shopkeepers start preparing some of the favorite sweet dishes and local breads a week before Ramadan.

However, the most selected great words about Egyptian food and spirit of Ramadan cannot define the true vibe. It can only be experienced by visiting this beautiful country. Ramadan in Egypt is magical and tourists especially visit during this holy month to capture and live the beauty.

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