Coptic Christmas 07/01/2012
Egyptian Christmas marks the distinct way of carry out Christmas celebrations in Egypt. Following the dictums of Coptic or Orthodox Church, spend this year’s Christmas in Egypt and enjoy a completely new experience.
Celebrating Christmas in Egypt is an entirely different from the predominantly Christian countries. The most important difference lies with the fact that instead of 25th December, Christmas in Egypt is celebrated on 7th of January. Christmas traditions in Egypt are influenced by regional culture throughout the country and thus, have a certain diversity to boast of. The preceding forty days of Christmas in Egypt are known as Advent season. This long period is of importance as people abstain from eating meat, poultry or dairy products during this period.
The practice during the Advent season marks the self-control and devotion of all those who want to participate in Christmas in Egypt. However, people follow this dictum only for the last week of Advent. As in any other country, people shop and shop on the eve of the Christmas celebrations in Egypt. On the auspicious day of Christmas you will see Egyptians attending the church dressed in bright new outfits. The service in the church lasts till midnight. The bells of the church are rung to mark off the end of the service.After the service is over, people gather to receive the special bread called ‘qurban’ meaning sacrifice. This ritual is the Egyptian variant of the Christian tradition of serving bread and wine, symbolizing the flesh and blood of Jesus. The bread ‘qurban’ has a Holy Cross in the middle and 12 dots that represent the 12 apostles. After this people eat a special Christmas meal in their homes, which is known as ‘Fata’. The main constituents of the meal are bread, rice, garlic and boiled meat. In the morning, you will see people visiting their friends and neighbors and exchange ‘kaik’, eaten with drinks known as ‘shorbat’.
Christmas in Egypt is a holiday, especially for the Christians. According to the legends, the Holy Family fled to Egypt. To mark the event and all other related events during the Nativity, the church is decorated with candles and lamps.