Sham el-Nessim


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Sham el-Nessim

Between April 5 and May 9; Monday after Coptic Easter
A national holiday and folk festival in Egypt, the Sham el-Nessim has been observed for thousands of years as a day to smell the breezes and celebrate spring. Nessim means "zephyr," the spring breeze, and sham means "to breathe in." While the date is set by the Coptic calendar, the holiday is now a non-religious national holiday observed by everyone as a family affair.
Traditionally, people pack picnics to have outings along the Nile River or in parks. Certain food is specified for the occasion: the main dish is fessikh, a kind of salted fish, and it's also traditional to have mouloukhiya (stuffed vine leaves) and eggs with decorated, colored shells. The foods are believed to prevent disease, and the eggs symbolize life. Vast numbers of fish are eaten in Cairo on Sham al-Nessim.
Other traditions call for placing freshly cut flowers at doors and windows, and putting a clove of garlic at the head of each bed to prevent boredom and fatigue for those who lie there.
At the time of the pharaohs, spring was celebrated with gifts of lotus flowers to wives or loved ones, and families enjoyed river outings on flower-decorated barges and feluccas (small sailing vessels).
CONTACTS:
State Information Service, Egypt Ministry of Information
3 Al Estad Al Bahary St.
Nasr City, Cairo Egypt
20-2261-7304; fax: 20-2261-7308
www.sis.gov.eg/En
SOURCES:
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 74
BkHolWrld-1986, Apr 28
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 215
References in periodicals archive ?
By: Egypt Today CAIRO - 17 April 2017: The price of salted fish rose roughly 100 percent in local markets as Egyptians prepare to celebrate Sham El-Nessim, an Egyptian spring festival.
Sabah Nasr runs a Facebook page selling salted fish, particularly popular during the Sham El-Nessim holiday.
In the other corner are individuals like the forthright Egyptian television presenter on the Cairo Today channel Amr Adeeb, a Muslim who talks as though his country has been invaded by pod people, strangers who don't listen to the songs of Umm Khultoum, who don't eat fasikh (dried, salty, fish) during Sham El-Nessim (a public holiday celebrating the onset of spring) or engage in any traditional Egyptian pursuits.
Summary: PORT SAID - Revellers are expected to take to a main street of the coastal city of Port Said Monday to burn effigies of ex-president Hosni Mubarak and his cronies to commemorate 860 civilian deaths that occurred during the January 25 Revolution and celebrate the spring festival known as Sham el-Nessim, an artist said Sunday.
Fiseekh has been a Sham El-Nessim tradition for decades and decades, and Egyptians are not going to start giving up their salty favorite anytime soon.
It was observed during the previous public holiday, Sham El-Nessim in April, that the ministry pushed male security conscripts into the streets, while the role of police women was nearly non-existent.
By: Egypt Today So goes the Latin saying, and this month with both Sham El-Nessim and Easter spreads not complete without painted eggs, we're giving you some inside tips on how to get the perfect colored eggs--all with natural ingredients.
During the recent national festival of Sham El-Nessim, the campaign group 'I Saw Harassment' took to Cairo's downtown streets to intervene and document cases of assault.
By: Egypt Today Short holidays are a must if you live in crowded Cairo, and while the North Coast or Sinai are the obvious choices, why not consider these five more adventurous destinations for your next long weekend or Sham El-Nessim getaway.
By: Egypt Today staff CAIRO -- 14 April 2017: Egypt's Ministry of Interior, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transportation, has toughened security at Metro stations through the end of Easter and Sham el-Nessim celebrations, a security official said on state TV Thursday.
Police 'inactive' in stopping sexual harassment during Sham El-Nessim
With a package deal starting at LE 6,600 venture to Greece and enjoy a stay in Athens for this Sham El-Nessim.