Ramadan in Egypt
By Dalia El Kady
Ramadan is the month during which Prophet Mohammed received the inspiration
of Quran. The month of Ramadan moves ten days earlier each year. Ramadan is a
holy month for Muslims, in which they don't eat or drink, starting from dawn. At
sunset, they break their fasting usually with a date, since it is a "sunna",
i.e. a habit taken from Prophet Mohammed.
Muslims celebrate that month with joy
& happiness. They prepare for it by hanging up colored decorations in the
streets & banners announcing that Ramadan is coming soon. They also hang up
what Muslims call "Fanus", i.e. lanterns of different shapes &
colors, some of which are lightened simply by candles, while others are
electrical. At sunset the roads are usually empty, every one is hurrying home
since all the family has to be ready at the dinning table before the canon shot
- announcing the break of fasting - at least by 10 minutes, so that they start
it as soon as they hear "Al Azan", i.e. call for prayer.
Egyptians are big eaters, they usually look forward to Ramadan ,for it is known
for special sorts of desserts such as "Kunafa", "Kataief"
& "Khushaf"(a cocktail consists mainly of dates apricot,black
plums & raisins) , as well as a very delicious juice called "Kamar El
Din" i.e. apricot juice. They also eat lots of almonds & nuts, which
get too pricey during that month.
TV becomes over loaded with various shows,
programs & serials during Ramadan, most of which are Islamic. One of the
prominent programs that people used to watch during Ramadan is the quizzes, what
Egyptians call "El Fawazir", it is one of Ramadan's features. Some
people get really obsessed with TV during that month to the extent that they
disregard their religious perceptions that should be performed during that holy
Ramadan in its very nature is a month of mercy & good deeds. It has
very spiritual aspects, since a real fasting is not confined to keep from eating
& drinking only, but also to abstain from committing sins that Islam
prohibited. So, it's not only a matter of food, it is of actions as well. Hence,
Muslims try to be more self-restrained & to get more control on their
misbehaviors during Ramadan. They alms, prayers & reading Quran. They have
to read the whole Quran Book at least once during that month.
astonished if I said that Christians like and enjoy Ramadan as well - of course
not out of religious sense - motivated by the various sorts of food stuffs that
Ramadan is distinguished by and that become available in the market only during
Ramadan. They are also attracted by the way television celebrates it, since it
transmits the best it has over the 24 hours of the day, which is not the case in
usual time. They try not to hurt the feelings of Muslims during that month, they
do not eat during daytime and even try to share fasting with them.