Sham El-Nessim or Easter in Egypt which means “inhaling the fresh breeze,” is Egypt’s most famous ancient ritual. People would color their hard-boiled eggs the day before, pack them up with green food and salted fish, and head to the parks to celebrate the official start of summer.
Sham El-Nessim has been around for a long time because, unlike many other feasts, it is tied to the weather and geography of the Nile Valley. Also, because of its many and changing social roles. The Egyptian Archive of Folk Life and Folk Traditions says that in ancient Egypt, it was the time of the Show (Spring). It was also connected to the Osiris doctrine, which said that life would come back after death.
The Difference Between Sham El Nessim and Easter
People in Egypt often think that Sham El Nessim and Easter are the same because they both have Arabic and English names for the same holiday. But if you still don’t know, they are two completely different holidays that fall around the same time.
What about Easter?
So, Easter is one of the oldest times the Christian Church has gotten together to remember that Jesus rose from the dead. But why do people in Egypt and the West celebrate Easter at different times? Well, the Western Church celebrates it on the first Sunday after the full moon after the Northern Spring equinox, and this is usually between March 21 and April 25.
But Coptic Easter is later for Christians in Egypt because the Orthodox Church uses the Julian calendar and the Western Church uses the Gregorian calendar. This is why Coptic Easter usually occurs on a Sunday between April 4 and May 8.
What about Sham El Nessim?
This one is a national holiday in Egypt that both Muslims and Christians celebrate. Sham El Nessim is a Spring festival that goes back to Ancient Egypt, before Christianity and Islam. The name of the celebration comes from the ancient Egyptian word “shame,” which means “harvest time.”
Later, when Egypt was part of the Roman Empire, the holiday became a part of the Christian Easter holiday, which is why it is celebrated on the Monday after Easter. Then, when Egypt became an Arab country, Shamo got its Arabic name, which means “smelling of breeze”: Sham El Nessim.
Modern Traditions of Sham El-Nessim
The main things to do in Sham en-Nessim are to eat and enjoy the outdoors. Egyptians often spend the holiday outside in parks or on beaches and eat a big, traditional meal with their whole family. The Sham el-Nessim table can have a variety of dishes and specialties from different areas. Still, you can find these three traditional foods almost anywhere in Egypt:
- Feseekh: a fermented fish dish
- Green onions: a symbol of spring, eaten with the Feseekh
- Tarmes: lupini beans served as a snack
- Of course, you’re sure to find other Egyptian favorites served on the holiday, from kofta (meatballs) to taameya (Egyptian falafel), depending on where you are in Egypt.
Feseekh, which is usually grey mullet but can also be mackerel or sardines, is the dish most associated with Sham El-Nessim. It is salted fish with spring onions.
Like many other Spring celebrations, eggs are a big part of Sham El-Nessim because they represent new life. In addition to painting and decorating eggs, one tradition is to write wishes on them and hang them in baskets from trees and houses in the hope that the gods will grant the wishes.
Sham El Nessim in Ancient Egypt
Sham El-Nessim is based on astronomy, philosophy, and religion, just like most Ancient Egyptian celebrations. The Egyptians knew it was a new day when the sun rose over the Great Pyramids of Giza. At the beginning of spring, when the day and night are the same lengths, and the sun is in the Aries zodiac, ancient Egyptians got up at the crack of dawn to have a family picnic in a meadow in the Nile River Valley. The fields’ green and the Nile’s blue made him feel calm. Fish was an essential part of the ancient Egyptian diet and was cooked in many different ways. The most popular dish at the time was salted fish, usually given to the gods in Esna, Upper Egypt.
The Climate of Egypt in the Easter
The weather in Egypt is usually hot, dry, and sunny all year long. The temperature can reach up to 40 C (104 F) in the summer from May to August. However, from September to April, the weather of Easter in Egypt is beautiful with low temperatures, making it the best time for tourists to visit Egypt because the weather is more comfortable and makes it easier to see the magical artifacts.
Spring is a very attractive holiday time, especially in Egypt, because the weather in Egypt is so pleasant at Easter. Our Egypt Easter tours in Week St. will take you to the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and historic sites.
Where to Spend Easter Vacation in Egypt?
Easter is coming up soon, so it’s time to start thinking about your vacation and getting ready for a great time in the sun by the Red Sea or the Nile, in Cairo or Aswan, by yourself, or with a big group of friends!
There’s still a lot of time to look around and decide where you want to go. If you wish to warm, sunny weather, spring is the best time to visit Egypt because it is neither cold nor hot.
This ancient land has a lot of essential churches, mosques, and synagogues, as well as famous temples, mosques, and churches. Egypt comprises deserts, green oasis towns, beautiful white beaches on the Red Sea coast, and romantic Nile cruises. There are many different ways to spend an unforgettable Easter holiday in Egypt.
The main goal is to see the Pyramids of Giza, the only remaining Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Walking around the Great Pyramid and feeling its incredible energy is the best feeling in the world. A two-hour tour of the Egyptian Museum will help you learn more about this beautiful country, which was once home to one of the world’s greatest civilizations. Cairo’s Coptic and Islamic areas are also worth seeing.
Booking Our Cairo Holiday & Vacation Packages
Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt and is known as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean.” It has kept many Roman-era monuments, such as the amphitheater, Pompey’s Pillar, the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, and the Greco-Roman Museum, which has many artifacts from the 3rd century BC. Also, the city has a unique vibe that is both warm and exciting.
3- Aswan and Luxor
Luxor and Aswan are two more cities you shouldn’t miss. The best-known landmarks in Upper Egypt are the 42-meter-tall Unfinished Obelisk, which was ordered by Hatshepsut and carved out of the rock; the Philae Temple, which is dedicated to the goddess Isis; the magnificent Temples of Abu Simbel, the world-famous Valley of the Kings, and the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. People who like to learn about the past should put these places on their bucket lists.
Check out our 6 Days Cairo, Luxor & Aswan Tour on Easter
4- Red Sea Resorts
But Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada would be the best choice if you like beaches and water. You can easily find any water activity here, from snorkeling and diving to surfing. After all, this is an excellent place for buggies, camels, quad bikes, or 4*4 desert safaris. The beach vacation is made even better by a mesmerizing “Arabian Nights” show with hot belly dances, tannoura, and daring Bedouin equestrians doing amazing tricks.
jakadatoursegypt has put together some fantastic holiday packages with Easter discounts that will make your long-awaited vacation an experience you’ll never forget. Get a 10–20% discount on your Easter trip if you book it now from here Egypt Easter Tours