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 ?
Children play during Sham El-Nessim celebration at Orman park on Monday - Egypt Today/Hazem Abdel-Samad CAIRO - 30 June 2019: Visitors will have free-access to Cairo's public parks on Sunday on the occasion of the 6th anniversary of the June 30 Revolution, according to a statement issued by Cairo governor Khaled Abdel Aal on Saturday.
The EGX will suspend trades on Sunday and Monday, 28-29 April in celebration of Easter and the spring holiday of Sham El-Nessim, respectively.
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.
File-Hisham Abbas CAIRO - April 30 2019: Singer Hisham Abbas performed a concert on Monday, April 29 celebrating Sham el-Nessim in one of the clubs of New Cairo, in the presence of a large number of audience.
Sabah Nasr runs a Facebook page selling salted fish, particularly popular during the Sham El-Nessim holiday.
Sham El-Nessim is an old spring festival celebrated by the Egyptians since 2,700 BC (the third dynasty of the Old Kingdom).
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.
Children play during Sham El-Nessim celebration at Orman park on Monday - Egypt Today/Hazem Abdel-Samad CAIRO -- 28 April 2019: Egyptian state authorities tightened security measures in the celebrations of the historic festival of Sham el-Nessim on Monday, where Egyptians are used to eating special food, mainly Fiseekh, a kind of salted fish.
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.
The name Sham El-Nessim or (inhaling the breeze) is derived from the Coptic language, which was derived from the ancient Egyptian language.
The hotel occupancy rates in various tourist areas have increased two days before the Easter "Sham El-Nessim" holiday with Europeans and Egyptians, according to Chairman of the Tourism Committee at the Egyptian Businessmen Association (EBA), Ahmed Balbaa.