Christmas Around The World: Egypt

Traditions. Decorations. Music. Feasts. Culture.

Basic Information

In Egypt, only 15% of the population are Christians. Out of their population, these are the only people who celebrate Christmas as a religious festival. Many of these Christian Egyptians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church, which is one of the largest Christian churches in Egypt.

Kiahk

Instead of the usual December 25th, they celebrate Christmas on January 7th. The month leading up to Christmas, which is called Kiahk, is a time where people sing special praise songs on Saturday nights before the Sunday Service. The church uses special hymns, which is a religious song or poem typically of praise to God or a god, during this month. The special hymns is usually called the "Kiahk tune".
HG Bishop Youannes Kiahk Midnight Praises تسبحة كيهك الانبا يؤانس

The Holy Nativity Feast

Egyptian Christians also celebrate the 43 days leading up to Christmas Day, with a feast. In this feast, they are only allowed to eat on a vegan diet. They are not allowed to consume any products that came from animals such as: meat, eggs, dairy, etc. Though if one person is sick or ill, then they get an exception to not eating on a vegan diet. This vegan feast continues all the way until the 43 days are complete. Which then on Christmas Day, they celebrate by eating all the foods they were not allowed to consume. One popular meal, that is usually a tradition to eat, is called 'Fata. 'Fata is lamb soup which contains bread, rice, garlic and boiled lamb meat.