Ramadan in Cairo: A Month of Endless Festivities
Strands of decorative lights twinkle like stars in the skyline. Exquisite, handcrafted lanterns sway over every doorway. Rainbow colored canvases drape over endless rows of tables and chairs throughout the city. A festive atmosphere pulses through every street and alleyway as Egyptians prepare for the month of Ramadan, a month that revolves around the purification of the mind, body and soul. Abstinence from food and drink from sunrise to sunset, giving back to society, and enlightened self-reflection are the main pillars of this holy month, and it is undoubtedly one of the best times to visit Egypt.
It’s mostly business as usual during the day, and you will be able to see all of Egypt’s attractions and landmarks. As the sun sets, people will begin heading towards the locale where they plan to feast. No food during the day means copious delight in the evening. A barrage of palette-pleasing entrée’s, hefty main courses, and scrumptious desserts make their debut across the country as restaurants compete through new and exciting culinary concoctions.
With entertainment buzzing across the landscape, every night offers a wide array of shows and activities, where options seemingly increase as the clock pushes past midnight. Listen to young Egyptian bands play music in a romantically lit courtyard at the 17th Century Al-Harrawi, visit the gorgeous Mamluk palace Amir Taz which hosts international composers, or soak up any number of the live performances at the Cairo Opera House. You can also mingle with contemporary Cairo at Egypt’s famous Ramadan suhoor tents, or Kheyam, that feature mezzes, fruity cocktails and poolside DJ’s who play music until the crack of dawn. Or perhaps you’d prefer something simpler like a stroll in downtown Cairo, enjoying the blissfulness of a predawn felucca ride, or joyously crushing your friends in all sorts of card games while being served shisha and refreshments at local Cafés.
Ramadan marks a time not quite like any other, and those who have experienced it travel from around the world to take part in its glorious merriment. With long nights ahead and so much to do, sleep will just have to wait.