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Ramadan In Egypt 2024: Traditions, Celebrations, Iftar, And Things To Keep In Mind


As one of the most notable and holy months in Islam, Muslims celebrate Ramadan worldwide with high spirit and zeal. Egypt being a prominent Islamic country, is no different. Ramadan in Egypt is a sight to behold with long day fasting accompanied by decorations and morning drums. The month is important as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received his first revelations of the holy Quran from Angel Jibril. People indulge in performing good deeds of reciting the holy Quran, offering prayers, fasting in the daytime, and doing charity during the month.

Ramadan celebration in Egypt


Most of the traditions and rituals of Islam have originated in Egypt. Therefore, people in the country remain highly disciplined while keeping fast and offering prayers in Ramadan. The locals decorate their homes with Ramadan lanterns known as fanoos and organize iftars for families. As per the traditions, cannon fires mark the beginning of iftars after evening prayers in many cities. Muslims prepare numerous delicacies to break the fast. The drummers (Mesaharaty or Musaharati) get on the streets early in the morning to wake people up and eat a pre-dawn meal known as Sahur. The month ends with the countrywide celebration of Eid ul-Fitr.

1. Ramadan fasting in Egypt

Ramadan is the month of traditions. Muslims in Egypt follow these traditions with immense faith and devotions. Hence, they fast from dawn to sunset by keeping their spirits high and abstaining from eating and drinking during the time. They wake up early in the morning and eat Sahur before starting with the fast. Muslims break the fast with iftar meals after offering the evening prayers. They break the fast by eating dates and drinking milk or water. People also maintain a nutritious diet and have drinks that not only hydrate the body but make up for the long day of fasting.

2. Prayers and gatherings

People usually offer prayers in the congregation during Ramadan. They gather at the nearby mosque to offer evening prayers. Many also recite verses from the holy book of the Quran to pay respect to the Quran and Allah. Additionally, Ramadan in Egypt is more of a family-oriented gathering to promote brotherhood. Family members celebrate Ramadan by preparing delicious and traditional food for iftar. People visit relatives and friends and vice versa for iftar. Many organize free iftar meals and give them to the poor and needy. Egypt is considered to be the place where no one remains without iftar food after the break of fast.

Suggested Read: Ramadan 2024: Dates, Traditions, Significance And Guidelines

3. Ramadan decoration


As per the stories, the Egyptians came out with fanoos (Egyptian lamps) to receive Fatimid Caliph Moezz El-Din El Allah on the 5th day of Ramadan in 358 AH. Since then, fanoos have taken place in the mainstream decoration items of Ramadan in Egypt. The fanoos have seen many structural transformations over the years, but the essence is the same. Along with fanoos, the cities of Egypt are decorated in subtle colors, with iftars being organized at different spots at regular intervals. As a result, tourists visiting Egypt during Ramadan can see vibrant Islamic culture and people dressed in traditional clothes with amiable festivities all around.

4. Cannon fire marking Iftar


In many African countries, cannons are fired to mark the end of fasting during the day and the start of iftar. Many believe that the tradition of cannon firing to mark the iftar originated in Egypt. The legends have it that Cairo was the first city where cannon firing finds its roots. Some stories tell that the cannon firing tradition was an accident in the Mamluk Sultanate. Many records also document the cannon firing from Saladin citadel and Muqattam Hill. Though it is the talk of the old, cannon firing can occasionally be seen in Ramadan in Egypt and many other Arabian nations.

Ramadan in Cairo

The central place to enjoy and participate in Ramadan festivities in Egypt is Cairo. The city is decorated with fanoos all around. Muslims get ready for Ramadan fasting early in the morning and observe fasting till iftar after evening prayer. Tourists visiting Cairo for the first time should avoid eating, drinking, chewing, and smoking in public places. Restaurants open up at the iftar times and serve delicious iftar in Cairo and normal meals. However, tourists are suggested not to visit restaurants during iftar and make way for fasting Muslims. One should also be diligent about their dressings while going out in public. They should dress modestly, covering most of the body parts.

Places to visit in Cairo during Ramadan

Al Azhar is a shopping marketplace full of small kiosks and stalls selling Ramadan and Eid essentials is a must-visit in Cairo during Ramadan. The market sells goods like gold and silver jewelry, tin items, pottery, and more. Tourists can also visit Mosque Madrassa of Al Ghouri for more religious understanding. They can go to Al Hussein in Azhar with a walkway between streets lined with shops. The alleyway has beautiful and traditional stucco walls and marble floorings. Wekalet El Ghouri is a market complex from the Mamluk times. The complex has the oldest covered market and mosques from Abbasid and Ottoman styles.

Ramadan 2024 Egypt iftar and delicacies


For Ramadan iftar in Egypt, people usually break the fast by eating dates and then sharing food among family with dishes rich in nutrients. Some of these are:

1. Mahshi: Making its way into a traditional platter of Egypt, Mahshi is the most common dish in Ramadan. Mahshi is a dish made by stuffing vegetables with rice and is shared with family during iftar.

2. Rokak: Stuffed pastry with minced meat; Rokak is a side dish that can be eaten at any time or with any dish. The pastry is simple to make and used as a quick snack during iftar.

3. Molokheya: Rich in nutrient soup, Molokheya is traditionally served with chicken and rice. Molokheya offers strong flavors of coriander and garlic fried in Ghee. The soup helps Muslims gather much-needed nutrition during Ramadan fasting.

4. Keshk: Another easy-to-cook dish served during Ramadan in Egypt is Keshk. The dish has a savory flavor and contains flour, chicken, oil, and yogurt.

Must Read: 10 Ramadan Food Ideas For Sehri And Iftar Meals

Things to keep in mind during Ramadan in Egypt

Tourists need to remain vigilant while visiting Egypt during Ramadan as it is a holy month for every Muslim. One should try not to offend the local sensibilities with their actions during Ramadan. Therefore, here are some of the points one must keep in mind:

  • Though one can eat and drink during Ramadan as a tourist, as a recommendation, people should not eat in front of fasting Muslims
  • As a tourist, one can visit bars and restaurants till 4:30 pm. After that, restaurants start preparing the iftar meals
  • Fasting hours in Egypt starts early in the morning from around 5 am and ends in the evening at around 6 pm
  • Tourists should avoid wearing revealing clothes during Ramadan in order to not attract a negative gaze
  • Many tourists sites can close early as per the iftar timings
  • Tourists can drink alcohol in bars and pubs but should avoid drinking in public places

Ramadan is a holy month in which Islamic countries are must-visit destinations. Egypt is an important Islamic nation that vibrantly celebrates Ramadan. The restaurants and streets are decorated with fanoos and have fasting yet welcoming locals. Therefore, Ramadan is one of the best times to plan a visit to Egypt.

Ramadan In Egypt FAQs

Who are Musaharatis?

Musaharatis are the drummers in Egypt that roam around the street in the early morning of Ramadan waking up people for Sahur.

Is alcohol permitted during Ramadan in Egypt?

Yes, tourists can find alcohol at some of the bars and restaurants in Egypt.

What are iftar delicacies of Ramadan in Egypt?

Keshk, Molokhyea, Rokak, and Mahshi are some of the local Ramadan delicacies.

What are Fanoos?

Fanoos are decoration lamps that are used to decorate streets of Egypt during Ramadan.

Can tourists eat food in public during Ramadan in Egypt?

Yes, though tourists can eat food in public, one should be considerate towards fasting Muslims.

Pratyush Srivastava

I think, every human is a beautifully concealed epoch in the making with God to unravel it at the perfect time. Hence, synergizing with distinctive individuals in search of an interesting story is my favorite work as a writer and creator.

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