After two-year Covid-19 restrictions, Ramadan celebrations are on again in Egypt

Bassant Mohammed
4 Min Read

The Egyptian Dar Al Iftaa organized last Friday a celebration for the holy month of Ramadan 2022 crescent moon sighting, the ninth month in the Islamic Calendar when Muslims worldwide fast from dawn to sunset.

Dar Al-Ifta announced that Saturday was the first day of Ramadan in Egypt. Celebrating the start of the holy month, Egypt’s top Islamic body Al-Azhar held a conference for religious scholars from the Ministry of Endowments and Al-Azhar Sheikhdom, as well as statesmen.

After a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19, Egypt will resume its traditional celebrations and rituals during Ramadan, including “Mawaid el-Rahman” (charity Iftar) by which Iftar – the meal Muslims eat when breaking their day-long fast – is offered free every night during the holy month.

Mawaid el-Rahman can be organized by neighbours, private businesses, mosques, charity organizations, or individuals. Each charity Iftar functions differently, depending on its size and location. Some are small and dotted by women and children, while others are large, utilitarian and mostly attended by labourers.

Islam encourages acts of kindness and generosity during the holy month, during which observant Muslims strive to be the best they can be. For some charity organizations, donations more than triple during Ramadan, and supermarkets invade the sidewalks with charity bags filled with staples and dry foods.

Ramadan, much like Christmas, is a time when people indulge in sweets and sumptuous meals with their Families.

Most businesses shorten working hours during the holy month, encouraging Egyptians to binge on Ramadan soap operas and rest until Iftar. After breakfast, the nightlife of street cafés and manic young bikers spirals down until the last meal before sunrise. Sleepless nights with friends and family are the trademark of this month.

The Cairo Metro has also announced to extend its working hours for an extra hour until 2:00 am during Ramadan and the following Eid Al-Fitr. The metro, which runs currently on three lines, will start operation at 5:15 am.

Over the holy month and during Eid, all shops, malls, restaurants and cafes will be open to the public until 2:00 am, according to Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawy.

Meanwhile, the takeaway and home delivery services of restaurants and cafés operate for 24 hours a day, the ministry said. As for shops in residential areas, they should close at 10:00 pm.

The government will also allow sermons after the afternoon prayer and night prayers during Ramadan.

As per the government’s decisions, weddings at the hotels’ indoor halls will be allowed with precautionary measures against the pandemic in place.

It is worth noting that the venues operating under the Ministry of Culture’s Cultural Development Fund will organize many activities that will take audiences on spiritual and traditional adventures during Ramadan evenings.

The first event will be a calligraphy exhibition in Cairo’s Gamaleya district, starting from 10 April. Music and poetry events will take place across numerous areas, many of which will be in historic buildings.

Throughout Ramadan, the House of Arabic Poetry will host a number of events presenting music performances and recitations of Sufi poetry.

Special workshops for teaching calligraphy and storytelling will also be held at the Child Creativity Centre in Beit El-Ainy.

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