Tahrir Square is a political symbol for the toppling of strongman Hosni Mubarak after 30 years as President. Hundreds of thousands of youth gathered in the heart of Cairo chanting for change and a brighter, more inclusive future. Today, the square is enlivened with a Christmas-Mulid tree to mark two important religious holidays that collide this year
Both Muslims and Christians are celebrating religious holidays at the same time in Egypt: Christmas on December 25 and January 7 (for Copts) and Mulid El-Nabi, the day Prophet Muhammad was born, on December 23.
Frosted with hundreds of electric bulbs, the seven meter high tree resembles both the ‘Mulid doll’ and a Christmas tree with a golden star at the tp, with the aim of allowing both Muslims and Christians to relate to the tree, according to one organizer’s comments on Facebook.
The ‘Mulid doll’ is a colorful doll made out of candy that is gifted to girls Mulid El-Nabi, while boys are treated with a ‘candy horse’.
On Wednesday night, when the Christmas-Mulid tree was lit for the first time, hundreds of Egyptians and other visitors gathered around it to take photographs.
Mulid El-Nabi and Christmas do not always fall on similar days as Islamic holidays rely on the Islamic hijri calendar, a lunar calendar consisting of 12 months in a year of 354 days.