Friday, December 25, 2009
Christmas in Egypt
(Sorry this is a day late. I was so busy yesterday, I forgot to actually post it.)
I recently did a post on our traditions for Christmas. Well, today is Christmas, right? Well, right and wrong. While it is Christmas in the West, Eastern Christmas is celebrated on a different date.
The Coptic Church is an Orthodox Church, and in the Coptic Church, Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January. Every year, according to the Coptic calendar, our Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates "Christmas" in the 29th of "Kiahk"-a Coptic month-which is simultaneous to the 7th of January.
Advent is observed for forty days and during this period people are expected to fast eating no meat, poultry or dairy products. Some people only do this during the last week of Advent.
On the Eve of Christmas everyone goes to church wearing a completely new outfit. The Christmas service ends at midnight with the ringing of church bells, then people go home to eat a special Christmas meal known as fata, which consists of bread, rice, garlic and boiled meat.
On Christmas morning people in Egypt visit friends and neighbors. They take with them kahk (the "h" is pronounced) which is a type of shortbread, which they take with them to give to the people they visit and eaten with a drink known as shortbat. Christmas Day is a public holiday for Christians.
So, this is only good news for us, being that we are Westerners who live in the East, we get to celebrate Christmas twice.
Here's wishing all of my friends out there a very Merry Christmas, and a Blessed New Year.