Christmas is just around the corner, and in the West it’s impossible to miss, with colourful decorations virtually everywhere – in every town, city and village and on every house. But what happens in Egypt? Is Christmas celebrated by the people there? What about New Year? And what happens on these holidays on board our ships?
In Egypt, the vast majority of the population are Muslims and only around ten per cent are Christians. The two faiths live side by side largely peacefully, respecting each others’ customs and traditions. The Egyptian Copts, as the Christians in Egypt are known, do celebrate Christmas – but not on the 24th or 25th of December. Instead, their celebration takes place on 7th January, the 29th day of the Coptic month of Koiak and the traditional Christmas day of the faith. Incidentally, the day has been an official national holiday in Egypt since 2002.
Celebrating Christmas and New Year on our dahabiya
We are naturally sailing over Christmas and New Year and offer our guests the opportunity to experience these holidays with unforgettable and unique celebrations.
Tranquillity and relaxation will continue to be the hallmark of your journey on our ships, the dahabiyas ABUNDANCE and MINYA. Far from the stress of excessive consumerism and exorbitant gift-giving, you will soak up the beauty of the Nile Valley and the magic of the ancient Egyptian temples.
On Christmas Day itself, Captain Mohammed and his crew will arrange a party for you on our ships. After mooring at an island, we will lay strings of lights out on the ground and hold a barbecue with dancers and a live band playing the typical Sa’idi music of the region – great to dance to! It’s an experience that can’t be captured in words or videos. You simply have to be there!
Kullu senna tayibin* – Happy New Year!
New Year’s Eve and the coming of the New Year are big celebratory occasions here too. Fireworks start days beforehand, and the hotels throw big New Year parties with music and dancing.
Of course we celebrate on our dahabiyas too, decorating them with strings of lights and holding barbecues, dancing and music.
* This is what I hear.