What is the month of Ramadan?
The month of Ramadan can be defined as the month of fasting, which is the ninth month in the Hijri calendar used in Islam, which comes after the month of Sha’ban and before the month of Shawwal. And it has a special place among Muslims, as they refrain from food, drink, intercourse and desires from dawn until the absence of the sun, which is announced by the call to prayer in Maghrib (sunset). Ramadan is a unique month that has its own rituals and customs and in the following article we are going to explore how is Ramadan in Egypt celebrated.
Ramadan in Egypt Breakfast Canon
The sound of the cannon is one of the most important Ramadan rituals in Egypt, as it is the preferred means of announcing the time for breaking the fast at the moment of the setting sun, announcing the end of fasting.
The beginning of this Ramadan ritual happened by chance, when “Khoshgadam”, the governor of Egypt in the Ikhshidid era, decided to try a new cannon that was given to him by one of the governors, and it happened that the first shot started At the time of the first sunset of Ramadan in 859 AH, the governor surprised the arrival of the elders and the people of Cairo at his palace to thank him for launching the cannon at the time of iftar, and they thought that he wanted to warn them of the time for breakfast, so Khushgdam continued to launch his cannon after that, and the cannon was placed in “Ramadan” above Mount Mokattam as a high place until all Cairo residents hear it
ٍSohour in Ramadan
Sohour in Ramadan is the time between the end of the night and the time of abstaining from eating food before sunrise. God Almighty praised those who sought forgiveness at that time.
And Suhur as a term for what is being eaten and drunk in sohour time in preparation for fasting.
Lantern in Ramadan nights:
Ramadan lantern is one of the indigenous popular appearances in Egypt. The lantern was used in the chest of Islam in the lighting at night to go to mosques and visit friends and relatives. Among the sweets that the Fatimids invented, as these children – with their lanterns – accompanied the magicians at night to charm people, until the lantern became associated with Ramadan, children’s games and their famous songs in this month.
The lantern industry has been developing throughout the times until the appearance of the electric lantern, which depends in its lighting on the battery and the bulb instead of the candle, the idea of the Egyptian lantern moved to most Arab countries and became part of the traditions of the month of Ramadan.
Among the most closely related aspects of Ramadan Al-Masharati, the career of Al-Masrati began during the ruler’s days with the Fatimid order of God who issued an order that people sleep early after Tarawih prayers and the ruler’s soldiers passed through the houses knocking on the doors to wake the sleepers of Sahur.
And the first to call for mesahrati, “Anabsa Ibn Ishaq” in the year 228 AH, and he was walking on his feet from the city of Askar in Al-Fustat to the Umar Ibn Al-As Mosque voluntarily..and he called for the worshipers of God to eat sohoor ( a meal between sunset and sunrise), as there is a blessing in the Suhoor. Since that time the profession of Al-Masharati in Egypt has received respect and appreciation after he The governor undertook it by himself, and it became a basic habit in the Fatimid era.
They were awakening people with stick methods on the doors of houses. After that, the phenomenon of mesaharati developed at the hands of the people of Egypt, where they invented the drum to carry the mesaharati to hammer on instead of using the stick, as it was linked to the walk and folk tales loved by many Egyptians like a thousand nights Night, Abu Zaid Hilali and Ali Zeibaq.
Among the most famous of those who made magic in the Mamluk era was a person called Ibn Naqta, who is the special Masharati of Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad. Ibn Naqta was the sheikh of the Masharatiya sect of his era and the owner of the art of “nation”, which is one of the forms of praises and supplications.
In the modern era, the profession of Al-Masharati also became famous. Women used to put coins inside a wrapped paper and announce the end of it. Then they threw it from Al-Mashrabiya to Al-Masharati until he saw its position and begin singing for them.
In the past, Al-Masharati was not paid, and he waited until the first days of Eid so he would pass through houses a house with his usual drum, so people would give him money, gifts and sweets and exchange words of congratulations for the feast.
Al-Masharati was roaming lanes and streets knocking on his drum to wake people up, calling every person in his name wake up, Naim, wake up Abu Mahmoud, wake up Abu Khalil, wake up and wake up who was asleep, and children descended happily carrying their lanterns and parading the streets behind him, repeating what he said happily Wake up, Naim, unite the dime, Ramadan Kareem
Cairo cafes in Ramadan .. Egyptian thermometer
Ramadan occupies a very special place in the human conscience with all its vocabulary, including the coffee shop, and it was still a part of Cairo’s life .. If the cafes are receiving them throughout the days of the year, they are getting in the month of Ramadan with increasing demand, given the Egyptians’ habit of spending their evening parties outside the home.
The Fatimid caliph, ِAl Aziz Be Allah, is considered the first to make a table in the month of Ramadan. Egypt has known the phenomenon of royal banquets or Ramadan tables that spread during the reign of King Farouk and were held to feed the poor, the needy, the employees, the passers-by, and any member of the people, and the purpose of it, as some historians say, ranges from what between a political protocol and charitable work .. The royal tables continued until the revolution and the fall of the monarchy to be replaced by the tables of Rahman and the simple Ramadan tables that filled Egypt’s guarded streets and allies.
And the tables of Ramadan in general are full of sweets, drinks and others recorded by some of the songs. Beans are considered the first of the dishes, and the Ramadan table is barely devoid of it. The Egyptians are dedicated to making varieties of it, as every family is keen on it, especially in suhoor. Among the most famous desserts are: Konafa, Qatayef, or Ali, and drinks are the most famous of licorice and hibiscus, Indian dates, Qamar Al-Din, Al-Kharoub
Tips for traveling during Ramadan in Egypt
It’s often thought that traveling to an Arab country during Ramadan is a bad idea. Many travelers imagine that they’ll find themselves in a ghost town with barricaded restaurants and hotels and that the few places they cross will all be aggravated by hunger, thirst, and fatigue. Not at all! The Muslim holy month is a time for introspection and reflection, where charity and hospitality stand front and center. It’s also worth noting that during Ramadan, tourism numbers are down so prices are decent and so you might feel like you have some sites all to yourself! During this period, spirituality is palpable. Once night falls, the atmosphere is unique, the cultural experience absolute. Ramadan is also an opportunity to discover another facet of local gastronomy, joining Iftar and its savory dishes specially prepared to break the daily fast.
- Dress appropriately
- Avoid public display of affection
- Avoid drinking, eating, and smoking in public during the fasting hours
- Equip yourself with provisions
- Plan your activities in advance : time of restaurants, sites, banks and institutions are adjusted during Ramadan so it is better to plan your activities accordingly.
- Get involved in festivities and engage in the local rhythm