It's usually said that only two Egyptian holidays date back to the days of the pharaohs: Sham al-Nassim and Wafa' al-Nil in mid-August, which marks the Nile flood (though the Aswan High Dam ended the annual inundation in the 1960s.) Both, like so much of Egyptian history, center on the Nile. On Sham al-Nassim Egyptians picnic on the river, stroll in parks, gardens, or the zoo, and eat seasonal foods: a dried salty fish called fassikh, green onions, lettuce, tirmis (lupinis), and (a borrowing from Easter? Or vice-versa?) they dye colored eggs. (See the photos below.) Even the foods may be ancient. Supposedly Plutarch somewhere wrote that the Ancient Egyptians had a spring holiday involving dried fish, lettuce, and onions, but I've never found a citation to confirm that story, beloved of Egyptian websites, even government ones.
|Sham al-Nissim delicacies (Al Kahira-Cairo-LeCaire)|