Egypt: Calendars and Holidays
Egypt calendar is full of events that not only to celebrate Egypt but also mark 7000 years of traditions. Some started from beginning; many joined along the way and now are a big part of Egypt culture and lifestyle.
There are 5 types of calendar followed in Egypt:
- Egypt Solar Calendar: The ancient calendar was basically based on three seasons. Flooding of Nile, Re-appearance of Nile and Low water Nile. Flooding of Nile is still observed but not as holiday.
- Egypt Lunar Calendar: Before the solar calendar, Egypt used to follow lunar calendar and can be seen observing in various cults and temples.
- Civil Calendar/Lunisolar: The most effective calendar of Ancient Egypt which follows 365 days with a 30 day month. But due to lack of leap years, was left behind.
- Ptolemaic Calendar: Alexander brought its native calendar with Hellenised Names which was later opposed by Egyptian priests and then discarded.
- Roman Calendar: Egyptian scholars were involved with the establishment of Roman calendar and after reformation and all is used as Coptic calendar nowadays. It involves 3 three seasons- summer, winter and flood.
Nowadays, Egypt runs on a Western/Georgian calendar, though other calendars are honoured. The Islamic calendar is based on a lunar cycle of 12 months of 29or 30 days. Thus, a Muslim year is almost 11 days smaller than the Georgian year. The Coptic calendar/Alexandrian calendar are based on solar cycle and have 12 months which consists of 30 days and a month of 5 days. In every 4 years an extra day is added to the shorter month.
That is why in Egypt, some holidays are movable, whereas some are fixed. Let’s list them categorically.
- Jan 7 – Coptic Christmas
- Jan 25 – National Police Day
- Apr 25 – Sinai Liberation Day
- May 1 – Labour Day
- June 30 – Revolution Day 2013
- July 23 – 1952 Revolution Day
- Oct 6 – Armed Forces Day
- Oct 13 – Suez Liberation Day
- Dec 23 – Victory Day
- Coptic Easter
- Sham El Nessim
- Rabi’ al-Awwal
- Eid-al-Fitr(End of Ramadan)
- Eid-al-Adha(4 days of celebration)
- Moulid El Nabi
Some are observed but are not official holidays such as Good Friday, Flooding of Nile, Easter Saturday etc.
However, the above mentioned holidays are richly celebrated and if you want NILE HOLIDAY will help you plan a magical holiday which involves being a part of Egypt celebrations and festivals without cost or plan your Egypt trip without fanfare exploring the colours of Egypt without crowds…