Arts & Culture

Kahk: The Eid Staple That Dates Back to the Pharaonic Era

Kahk: The Eid Staple That Dates Back to the Pharaonic Era

Kahk after baking on a cooling rack, before getting sprinkled with sugar and honey. Photograph by Kahled Desouki, AFP/Getty Images
Kahk after baking on a cooling rack, before getting sprinkled with sugar and honey. Photograph by Kahled Desouki, AFP/Getty Images

A clear indication of Ramadan coming to an end and Eid Al-Fitr approaching is the sight of these often sugar covered cookies called “Kahk.”

Eid Al-Fitr, also called Feast of Breaking the Fast for non-Arabic speakers, is a three day Muslim festival in which Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan and a month-long daytime fast. Eid Al-Fitr comes on the first day of the month Shawwal in the Islamic calendar.

During Eid Al-Fitr Muslims dress in their finest clothing and decorate their houses with colorful lights and decorations. A general spirit of generosity and gratitude colors this three-day celebration.

Kahk is a significant part of Eid Al-Fitr celebrations; oftentimes Muslim families celebrate Eid by eating Kahk and many of its Middle Eastern variations.

It is so popular that an Egyptian poet called Fouad Haddad wrote about kahk: “Oh kahk, master of generosity … we will never stop making you.”

Kahk coated in powdered sugar. Photo: Sarah\Buttered up
Kahk coated in powdered sugar. Photo: Sarah\Buttered up

This delectable treat dates back to the Pharaonic era. People are depicted making Kahk on the walls of the Pharaonic temples in Thebes and Memphis. Ancient Egyptians used to mold Kahk into different geometrical forms and then the image of the ancient sun goddess Athon would be added to the surface of the biscuit.

Today, Kahk is mostly circular and is often soaked with powdered sugar. Some of its variations and dessert biscuits also eaten during Eid are Ghorayeba, a butter biscuit that melts in your mouth as soon as you eat it, and Maamool, a biscuit usually filled with date pudding.

 

East African Retro Pop Finds Its Way To Cairo
Tom Hanks arrives in Egypt to film at Red Sea resort of Hurghada

Subscribe to our newsletter


Arts & Culture

More in Arts & Culture

Why Khairy Beshara’s Cult Classics Are More Relevant Now Than Ever

Amina Abdel-Halim22 January 2023

The Egyptian Streets’ Team Recommends: Books to Read in Your 20s

Farah Rafik21 January 2023

New Aten Museum in Minya to Be Open for the Public

Egyptian Streets14 January 2023

Wegz to Share Stage with American Rapper Travis Scott at Abu Dhabi Festival

Mona Abdou9 January 2023

World’s Largest Floating Book Fair Arrives in Egypt’s Port Said

Egyptian Streets4 January 2023

Wrapping Up 2022: Top Egyptian Shahid Productions

ES Buzz27 December 2022

Fatma Said and Nader Abbassi to Perform in Grand Egyptian Museum’s First Public Event

Marina Makary20 December 2022

‘Tis The Season: Christmas Carols, Markets, and Events in Cairo

Marina Makary13 December 2022