Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed as a guide for humanity with clear proofs of guidance and the standard ˹to distinguish between right and wrong˺.
Surah Al-Baqarah, 185 verse
Ramadan (The month of the Quran)
Ramadan is considered a holy month for Muslims. It’s the month of Quran revelation on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and the time of fasting, prayers, charity, and doing all the good deeds in this holy month.
In Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during the daylight hours as obedience to Allah’s commands. Ramadan has its spirit, but Ramadan in Egypt has a different atmosphere than other Islamic countries due to its unique traditions. In this article we will talk about The Traditions of Ramadan in Egypt
When Ramadan 2022 Begins
Ramadan is the ninth month of the lunar year in Islam, and every year Ramadan shifts 11 days afterward, and its announcement may differ from one country to another. This year, the First day of Ramadan will start in Egypt on 2 April insha’Allah.
What Happens in Ramadan
At Ramadan, people fast all the daylight until the sunset; you also may see people recite the Quran or say the adkahr at transportation. At the Maghrib time, people break their fast with Tamr ( Dates fruit) to follow the sunnah of the prophet (peace be upon him), then performing Salat Al-Maghrib to return to Iftar. Al- Taraweeh prayer is one of the beautiful Islamic rites in Ramadan; it starts after isha prayer when people pray in Gama’a.
Meals in Ramadan
In Ramadan, there are only two meals. (The Iftar) at sunset, when we break our fast, this meal is usually full of delicious food to restore our energy after a long day. Al-suhoor is the other meal we eat before dawn to be able to fast; at Suhoor, there are famous food people usually eat, like foul (Bean) yogurt.
Ramadan in Egypt
Ramadan in Egypt has a different taste, as there are many beautiful traditions originating from Egypt such as Fanoos Ramdan, Drummer, Cannon Ramadan, Ramadan foods, and drinks. In Egypt, the streets are decorated and full of life and energy, especially after Iftar, mosques are opened to welcome worshipers, children play with Fawaness, and sing Ramadan songs.
One of Ramadan traditions in Egypt is to buy colored fanoos to decorate your home entrance or street or buy fawaness for children, as fawanees is one of the joys of Ramadan.
Fannos (lantern) is originated in Egypt, and there are many stories about how it became a tradition in Ramadan. The first story started on the fifth of Ramadan, in 358 AH (969 AD) when the Fatimid caliph Moezz El-Din El-Allah came to Egypt for the first time, the Egyptians turned out with a lantern to welcome him, and it became a tradition from that time.
The other story tells that the Fatimid caliph ordered the sheikh of mosques to light up the streets during Ramadan with fawaness.
The Drummer ( Musharti)
A Drummer is a person who wakes people up to Suhoor by hammering out on his drums. This tradition belongs to the Ottoman era when people didn’t have the alarm to wake them up to take their Suhoor, so drummers walked through streets beating their drums, called people names, and sang rhyming couplets. After Ramadan comes to an end, the drummers go to houses to make money or grains like rice for their service. This tradition is still ongoing as it carries the memory of the old days.
One of the old traditions in Ramadan is firing the canon from the top of the citadel; the cannon shot is one of the signs to break your fast, and every Egyptian waits for it at sunset ( Iftar time) as it appears on the first Egyptian channel. One story told about the canon is that khedive Mohamed Ali (1805-1848) when one canon was accidentally fired at sunset, and people thought that its tradition from the khedive, and at the end, it became a tradition until now.
Ma’edat Rahman is one of the unique charitable acts in Ramadan. It’s a long table where food is served for free to poor people or for travelers who travel at iftar time.
This month is famous for its desserts that people enjoy buying or doing at home, one of these desserts is “kunafa” which is usually eaten at Suhoor; you may find shops in the streets making Khunafa everywhere. There are other famous desserts like “Ataif”, “Basbosa” which represent the thyme of Ramadan.
Ramadan has special drinks that Egyptians drink at the Iftar and only exists in Ramadan in hotels and coffee shops such as Karkadey (Hibiscus), Erq sous ( Licorice), Kamar El-Din ( dried apricot), Kharoub (carob), Tamr Hindi (Tamarind).
Places to go in Ramadan at Cairo
In Ramadan, every place carries the thyme of the holy month, and there are many exciting places in Cairo to life the atmosphere of Ramadan; here are some sites we recommend you visit!
Al- Hussein is an area in Al-Azhar district full of life, especially in Ramadan, with old Islamic sites.
Al-Muzzi El-Din Allah Street
It has been said that Al-Muzzi is an open museum; there are many Islamic monuments on the street, such as mosques and sabils. It’s a pleasure to walk on it at any time.
Al- Azhar Park is one of the beautiful places to visit; it is a big green park and has an incredible view of Cairo; there are good restaurants that serve Iftar and have entertainment activities all night.
Ramadan is a holy month for every Muslim, and it has a great spirit. Still, it’s also a month full of precious traditions in Egypt. There are many foods, places, and activities to live and enjoy during Ramadan in Egypt. Don’t miss this occasion to have an incredible experience.