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Culture and Traditions in Egypt

Egypt is a country of cultural mix, there is an immense cultural mix, in every major city in Egypt you will find traditions that remained from the pharaoh’s times, and in other parts you will find pure tribal customs, which were brought by many invaders throughout the centuries. That contradiction and contrast between areas of Egypt when you compare it with other middle eastern countries, you will find Egypt is considered advanced among others, yet here you will find that the customs and mentality tends to be full of warmth towards visitors and foreigners. This is the secret why Egypt is considered the most attractive country in the region for travelers. The pure nature of the local Egyptians when they are always there when you need help, or when they invite you into their houses and they hardly know you, or when they smile in your face, makes a visit to Egypt a wonderful and unforgettable experience.

Egypt’s population consists of 67 million 57 million of them are Sunni Muslims and about 10 Million are Coptic Christians (Christian Egyptians). Although public statistics indicate that they are not more than 7 million. Whether Muslim or Copt, the Egyptians are moderately religious and religious principles is quite noticed in their daily lives. Here each family member is responsible for the integrity of family and for the behavior of other members, creating an environment that would be envied by many people in the West. Here they are so close to each others, family ties are far stronger than in the west, hence you will find any major city in Egypt, is safer than any western metropolis.

Yet when travelers come to Egypt, they are often apprehensive. Their views of Egyptians and Arabs, fomented by unkind and untrue media stories, often bear no relation to reality. Travelers when they meet Egyptians are often surprised by their friendly, hospitable reception and take home with them good feelings about Egypt and its population.

Egyptians form a society of a mixture of Middle Eastern family standards, taken from the different religious rules whether in Islam or Christianity, it created a sort of background that can color their decision-making in a way difficult for foreigners to understand. Yet it is precisely this training that makes Egyptians some of the most charming and helpful of hosts. By understanding the culture and with consideration for your hosts, you can be a welcome guest in Egypt.

In general, Egyptians are most accommodating and they will go out of their way to help you and respond to any questions you have. Most Egyptians require little personal space and will stand within inches of you to talk! You will find that whenever you start talking with an Egyptian, you will inevitably draw a crowd, and often the Egyptians will start discussing among themselves over the correct answer to a question.

Although most of the Muslims in Egypt do not drink alcohol, they do not o bject to others drinking, but imbibing in reasonable amounts. In Egypt people don't eat pork, and rarely when you find a place that offers pork choice on their menu.

People here fast at the time of Ramadan , it is the time when they all come close to each other and respect each other, I t is the time when they go out till late at night and fast by day. During this month, donations, almsgiving and charity would be at its highest rates, it is the time for forgiveness and love. It is a wonderful month.

Christmas is preceded by forty days of fasting for strict members of the Coptic Church. Christians abstain from eating any kinds of animal products including meat, poultry and dairy during the month of December.

When Christmas Eve comes on the 6th of January, people go to church for the evening service dressed in new clothes and find hundreds of candles illuminating the building in honor of the candles Joseph lit to keep the Virgin Mary from catching cold on the night of the Nativity. At the conclusion of the service, the sound of bells tells families that their fasts are over and they make their way home for the traditional meal of Fata (rice, garlic and boiled meat) and Qurban
(a biscuits marked with a cross and 12 dots representing Jesus' disciples). Christmas morning is a time for visiting friends and family and for sharing a shortbread called "Kaik" and a drink called "Shortbat". Egyptian celebrations of Christ's birth and the time the Holy Family spent in Egypt conclude that evening as families reflect on the Christmas season.

Major days off and public holidays:

First day of the spring
(2nd Monday after the Coptic Easter day)
It is called Sham EL-Nessim day
Just Avoid going out in this day to national parks and the zoo
25th of April Sinai liberation day.
1st of May Labor day
23rd of July 1952 revolution day
6 October Armed forces day, victory day 1973
13 October Suez liberation day
23rd of December Victory day
Eid EL Adha Sacrifice feast Comes right after the pilgrimage season, it last for 4 days
Eid EL Fitr Breakfast feast Comes right after the Holy Fasting month of Ramadan

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