A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, May 6, 2013

Sham al-Nassim Greetings

A happy Sham al-Nassim. I'm envying my Egyptian readers picnicking along the Nile today. As I noted last week in noting some Salafis oppose the holiday:
Sham al-Nassim, as I've noted in earlier years (most detailed posts here and here) is a spring festival that coincides with the Monday after Coptic Easter, but is celebrated by all Egyptians, Muslims and Christians alike (and the Jewish community before its disappearance). Families picnic along the Nile, color eggs, eat certain traditional spring vegetables and dried fish. The name Sham al-Nassim, "smelling the breeze" in Arabic, may also distantly echo the ancient Egyptian feast of Shemu, also a spring festival. In any event it is generally considered one of only two traditional holidays (the other being Wafa' al-Nil in August, celebrating the Nile Flood before the Aswan High Dam was built, but still celebrated today) with roots in Pharaonic times.
Also see this article in Daily News Egypt..
Sham al-Nissim delicacies (Al Kahira-Cairo-LeCaire)

No comments: