What is Ramadan?
The month of Ramadan is the ninth month in the lunar months in the Islamic calendar. The fasting of Ramadan is the fifth of the pillars of the Islamic religion.
This sacred month is dedicated to reflection, reading the Qur’an, helping the needy but the main practice of the month and mandatory is fasting from dawn to dusk with exceptions for the elderly, sick, children, pregnant women, and more.
The meals in the month of Ramadan are in two times in the day; the breakfast “El Fitar” which is when you break the fast in the evening and the other is “Al Sohor” which is before the morning. From fasting until dawn you can eat and drink.
Everyday Life in Ramadan?
During the day, the slow pace of the usual one, although life goes on like the other days, everyone is at work but many of the restaurants and cafes are closed.
Many think that food and drinks are not available, but it is not correct because there are restaurants and cafes open especially in tourist places because people recognize that most of their visitors do not follow Islam.
That is why you can visit all the attractions in all the Egyptian cities. Life at night is magical because everyone goes out on the streets to have fun, the restaurants are open, and everything is full of life.
Egyptian Traditions in the Streets in Ramadan
Because of the festive nature of the Egyptians, many festive aspects highlight the Egyptian streets of Ramadan. In all Egyptian cities, you can see traditional Ramadan decorations with white, blue, and red colors and beautiful decorative lights that illuminate the streets and the night sky.
The most famous Ramadan decorations are the Arabian Ramadan lanterns (Fanos in Arabic), which are considered an Egyptian tradition, they are colorful and in different sizes and shapes, some of them are used as decoration of the houses, streets, restaurants, cafes, and others with songs are used as games to the children.
It was said that the tradition of lighthouses dates back to the Fatimid era when the Fatimid caliph ordered them to be hung in the streets to illuminate the streets.
Another tradition that marks the streets by the collective spirit of the Egyptians is the tents of Ramadan that are some tents in the street of a long table with a great number of chairs to meet and have free breakfast for the needy and generally to all the people.
These Ramadan tents are decorated with colorful red, blue, white fabrics with Islamic and Egyptian ornaments, large lights, and headlights on their ceilings.
Also in Ramadan, you can see the drummer who is a person who turns the streets with a drum before dawn to wake up and call people’s attention to take their “Al Sohor” meals before starting the fasting hours. This tradition goes back to the Ottoman era because it is not awakened in the past and continues in some streets of the country.
You can enjoy more of these traditions throughout Egypt but they are popular especially in the areas of Old Cairo and Islamic “Fatimid Cairo” as in the street of El Muez where you can enjoy some traditional festivals, The Bazaar of Jan El Jalili, around the Mosque of Al Azhar and the Mosque of Al Hussein and some areas in Alexandria.
Traditional Food and Drink in Ramadan
The breakfast meals in Ramadan are no different from the traditional meals of the whole year, so rice, soup, chicken, meat, vegetables with tomato sauce are used, but what is traditional in the “Al Sohor” meal are beans, eggs, cheese, and yogurt.
But the month of Ramadan is highlighted by oriental desserts, especially “Kataif” which is considered a pancake or dough filled with nuts or cream, “Konafa” which is a thread-shaped dough, and more of other desserts that are available in all dessert stores and restaurants throughout the month.
The Egyptian drinks in Ramadan are several and are considered mainly in the breakfast table like “Karkadeh” which is the juice of petals of a type of rose, “Kamar Eldin” which is the juice of dry apricot, “Tamr Hindi” which is tamarind, and more of the oriental drinks and you cannot forget “tea” that is considered main after the breakfast.
The Last Days in Ramadan
The festive elements in the last days of Ramadan are changed because they are prepared for the Feast of Breakfast “Eid El Fitr” which begins after the end of the month of Ramadan and marks the beginning of breakfast and the new month. Stores and houses start preparing other types of desserts such as cookies in different ways and shapes.
Ramadan in Egypt With Jakada Tours Egypt
Ramadan in Egypt has a special aspect and is considered the best opportunity to try all the Egyptian traditions mixed with Islamic and oriental aspects that’s why trips to Egypt or cruises along the Nile in this period are considered unique experiences.