Ancient history that is well preserved mingles with the contemporary to make Egypt one of the culturally most vibrant countries in the world. It is, then no surprise that its festivals mirror its glorious past while having modern elements. Here is our pick for the top five festivals in this North African country. If you are looking at Egypt packages, you can choose to visit during one of these.
Sun Festival at Abu Simbel – The temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel draws great crowds on the 22nd of February, and the 22nd of October every year. This is because on these two days, sunlight penetrates around 55 meters into the innermost chamber and illuminating the statues of Ramses, Ra and Amun. The statue of Ptah, the God of darkness, however remains in the shadows. After watching this incredible natural phenomenon, visitors indulge in some merrymaking with music, dance and great food. A lot of Egypt holiday packages have special tours running at these times of the year for the festival.
Wafaa Al-Nil – The Egyptians really do worship the Nile, and it shows. The Wafaa Al-Nil or ‘Fidelity of the Nile’, celebrated every September, reflects the respect and love that ancient Egyptians had for the Nile. Festivities include concerts, poetry readings, and events for children.
Sphinx Festival – This five day cultural extravaganza is held in December every year in the town of El Gouna along the Read Sea Coast. The festival showcases various cultural themes in Egyptian dance, and aims to inspire artists and travelers.
Leylet en Nuktah – The ancient Egyptians sacrificed young women to the River Nile to thank her for the bounties they received from her. Today, the Leylet en Nuktah is still a celebration dedicated to the Nile albeit without all that harshness of sacrifice. Egyptians camp out or picnic along the banks of the Nile with their families, or party on the streets through the night. At sunset, women put out balls of dough representing the members of the family, and in the morning the cracks on the balls are examined to predict the fortune and longevity of the members.
Moulid an-Nabi – One of the most important Islamic festivals, Moulid an-Nabi is a celebration of the birth of Prophet Mohammed. There are parades and processions on any street of any city in Egypt that you may be visiting or places to visit in Egypt. Musicians, dancers, drummers and acrobats fill the streets, and a wide range of culinary treats awaits you. Ensure you try the traditional halawet el-moulid (a sweet treat), candy dolls and hummus.