Sunday, August 12, 2012

Christmas in Egypt

I know that it seems a little weird and unseasonable to be writing about this, but I got this idea from a Malaysian AFSer who's a returnee from Germany-
we were chatting about the experience of exchange and he asked me how it will be for me to celebrate Christmas in a land where the majority of people don't celebrate it.
And I actually found this to be an interesting question.
It's something that I haven't really thought of. I'm sure that I'll be feeling a bit nostalgic on December 25 itself, because I won't be celebrating Christmas with my natural family.
But I'm looking very forward to celebrating Muslim holidays that I've never celebrated before! Ramadan will have been over for several weeks when I arrive, but I will be able to celebrate Eid al-Adha, which marks the end of the Hajj, a sacred pilgrimage in the Muslim religion, with my host family! :D
Another holiday I'm looking forward to spending with them is Shem an-Naseem, which literally translates to "the sniffing of the breeze." This unique Egyptian holiday marks the beginning of spring, and is thought to have originated all the way back in Pharaonic times! It falls the day after Easter. Although the Easter in the Coptic Church, to which the Christian minority in Egypt belongs, is probably different from Catholic and Protestant Easters....
That reminds me, another thing I'm looking forward to is Coptic Christmas, which falls on January 7. Even though my host family is not Coptic, it would certainly be an interesting thing to see!
I'm not sure how, if at all, Christmas is celebrated on December 25 in Egypt...I'll look into it :3
Until next time!! I'll leave you guys with some pictures of the holidays I've mentioned - or maybe things related to them, since I'd prefer not to post pictures of people worshipping, out of respect for them.

Only 21 days until I leave Michigan and only 25 days until I leave for Egypt!!!

Ila al-iqaa'!
a special Coptic Orthodox Cross

Shem an-Naseem- people often celebrate by picnicking  in green spaces 
a greeting card for Eid al-Adha


  1. Not just Christmas, I don't imagine them sitting around a turkey giving thanks to 400 year old natives.
    Or trick-or-treating.
    Or Independence Day, although wouldn't you be back by then?
    Oh, and Valentine's Day.

  2. Hahaha that's true Brent!! good point :p
    but yes, I will be back by next independence day xD