Christmas in Egypt
Winter-weary British holidaymakers have been heading to Egypt in search of some winter sun for many seasons now – and it isn’t hard to see why. After only a few short hours on a plane, the balmy Red Sea temperatures are warmer than any you will find in Europe. The golden sandy beaches and abundance coral reef wildlife are attractions that keep people coming back year after year.
Yet there’s more to this ancient land than simply swimming and sunbathing, and if you’re looking for a winter break with a difference you’ll discover in Egypt a Christmas tradition that is as delightful as it is surprising.
With great deals on holidays to Egypt with Cosmos this winter, there’s never been a better time to discover the secrets of this incredible country.
Christmas… but not as (or when) you know it!
Despite being a predominantly Muslim country, Egypt does in fact have a large community of Coptic Orthodox Christians, which accounts for 10% of the country’s population. The Egyptian Church also has its own special way of celebrating Christmas that is a treat to behold.
The first way in which an Egyptian Christmas differs from ours is that it is in fact celebrated on 7 January, after a forty-day advent period. During the week leading up to Christmas, Egyptian Christians will not eat any form of meat or dairy products, before donning a brand new outfit (the brighter, the better!) to visit Church on Christmas morning.
Santa… as you have never seen him before!
The fasting does not stop the Egyptians doing what they do best, however – and that is shopping! During the festive season they will take to the brightly decorated streets in their droves to discover the perfect gift, which may be more unusual then you’d expect – like a belly-dancing Santa! Christmas lights are everywhere, as are flashing Santa hats – with Old St Nic himself known to have been spotted riding a camel through the resort of Sharm el Sheikh.
A treat for all the family
Like most religious festivals in Egypt, Christmas is a family time, with great family feast being held on Christmas Day. The cooking will have taken up much of the previous week, with special biscuits decorated with a cross being baked for the young ones. You’ll find plenty of Christmas-themed activities for your family taking place during this time too, as the Egyptians are famous for their welcoming, kid-friendly attitudes.
Cosmos holidays offer a range of Egypt flights and accommodation options to suit all budgets – book now for a truly special Christmas this year.