Christmas comes to Cairo Euro-style

Alexandra Sandels
3 Min Read

CAIRO: The scents of Swiss cheese raclette, Scandinavian mull wine, and Belgian waffles welcomed more than a thousand visitors eager to enjoy the festivities at the 12th Annual European Christmas Bazaar at the Nile Hilton Hotel Garden on Sunday morning.

More than 20 participating European countries offered a wide variety of ethnic European Christmas food and paraphernalia to its guests, including Danish liverpate, Finnish Christmas candles, Belgian marzipan, Austrian fruitcake, and Armenian whisky.

“Oh, you are looking for mull wine spices? We sold out of that at 10 am. You need to be here early hanging at the door if you want the good stuff, a smiling representative from the Norwegian stall tells me.

In addition to providing Cairo’s expatriate community and friends with coveted Christmas items, this year’s Bazaar offered special music and dance entertainment, as well as children’s activities.

As they savored German sausages and Belgian weissbier, parents enjoyed watching East European dancers whirling around performing traditional folklore dances, while the children seemed far more interested in the Dutch chocolate fountain and Santa Claus’s house’ located by the main stage.

Meanwhile, Cairo’s Irish expat community and friends celebrated the joyous occasion with Irish coffee and Christmas carols at the opposite corner of the garden.

“This is great. I found both Jameson whisky and my favorite Irish chocolate. Christmas in Cairo is saved! Eamon, an Irish student interning at the European Commission, says when asked about his Bazaar purchases.

As the morning gave way to early afternoon, visitors slowly trickled out of the Bazaar weighed down with loads of shopping bags.

But if you missed this Yuletide fest, rest assured there is another chance to meet friends and enjoy Christmas Cheer at the YWCA Christmas Bazaar at the Jesuites (Petit College Heliopolis) on Dec. 15.

Organizers told The Daily Star Egypt that while they have held bazaars before, they have never been of the scale planned for this year.

Tune up your vocal chords because the English and French choirs will be looking for you to sing some Christmas carols.

But if you want to see the tallest Christmas tree in town, check out the InterContinental Cairo Citystars. The lobby is beautifully decorated with a 12-meter high Christmas tree.

The atmosphere is lively and the decoration reflects Christmas with sparkling lights, colorful ribbons, glass balls, scented candles and Santa’s all over.

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