Egyptians celebrate spring, the Pharaonic way


Published: 2018-04-10 14:45

Last Updated: 2021-04-10 23:24

A little girl celebrates Sham El Nessim festival in Egypt. (Twitter)
A little girl celebrates Sham El Nessim festival in Egypt. (Twitter)

Almost 4,700 years ago, the Pharaohs had a tradition of celebrating harvest season. That tradition has lived on to this day, as Egyptians continue to mark the “Sham El Nessim” holiday on 9 April, which usually falls on the first Monday that follows the Coptic Easter.

On that day, Egyptians take the day off to indulge in an especially-prepared pickled fish dish called “Feseekh.” It is typically prepared with grey mullet and eaten with onions, lettuce, lemons and lupine.

They also treat themselves to special holiday cookies and sweets.

Egyptians also celebrate the day by connecting with nature. They head to open-air areas, including gardens and parks, for a picnic with their family and friends.

Roya was in Egypt and spoke to some of the people who were celebrating the festival.

“It’s a special day where we go out with our families and kids to alleviate the stress of life,” Rashad Rahim, the Giza Zoo Manager, told Roya.

Another celebrant told us: “We wait for this day from year to year. We go out to gardens and such. It’s a happy day.”

Sham El Nessim’s literal translation is “smelling the breeze.” It is said that the national holiday - marked by the country’s Muslims and Christians alike - got its name from the ancient hieroglyphic word “shamo,” which means “summer” or “harvest.”

Meanwhile, El Nessim refers to the beautiful breeze that comes along with the warm spring weather during harvest season.