Photo Essays

In Photos: Egyptians Celebrate Sham El-Nessim

In Photos: Egyptians Celebrate Sham El-Nessim

Families gather outside the Giza Zoo, where a street vendor is selling animal-shaped balloons. Photo: Mai Shaheen, Ahram Online
Families gather outside the Giza Zoo, where a street vendor is selling animal-shaped balloons. Photo: Mai Shaheen, Ahram Online

Egyptians gathered all around the country to celebrate Sham El-Nessim, which literally translates to “smelling the breeze” and marks the beginning of the spring season.

Although Sham El-Nessim invariably falls on the day after Coptic Christians celebrate Easter, the festival is not rooted inEgypt’s ancient civilization, rather than religion, and is celebrated as a national holiday.

A large number of Egyptians choose to celebrate this holiday by visiting the Giza Zoo or other open parks and spaces to enjoy a picnic, or by taking a short boat ride on the Nile. Some also opt to make use of the long weekend by getting out of the city and heading to one of the country’s many beach destinations.

Typical Sham El-Nessim cuisine includes Herrings (ringa in Arabic), fermented fish (fiseekh in Arabic), eggs and green onions.

Egyptian families sit together for a picnic at the Giza Zoo. Photo: Mai Shaheen, Ahram Online
Egyptian families sit together for a picnic at the Giza Zoo. Photo: Mai Shaheen, Ahram Online
Families gather outside the Giza Zoo, where a street vendor is selling animal-shaped balloons. Photo: Mai Shaheen, Ahram Online
Families gather outside the Giza Zoo, where a street vendor is selling animal-shaped balloons. Photo: Mai Shaheen, Ahram Online
An Egyptian family enjoys a Sham El-Nessim picnic at the International Park in Nasr City. Photo: Ahmed Abdel Fattah, Al-Shorouk
An Egyptian family enjoys a Sham El-Nessim picnic at the International Park in Nasr City. Photo: Ahmed Abdel Fattah, Al-Shorouk
A family enjoys an excursion at Al-Orman Park. Photo: The Cairo Post
A family enjoys an excursion at Al-Orman Park. Photo: The Cairo Post
Scores of Egyptians attempting to escape the bustle of Cairo by cooling off on Alexandria's shores. Photo: Al-Wafd
Scores of Egyptians attempting to escape the bustle of Cairo by cooling off on Alexandria’s shores. Photo: Al-Wafd
Facebook joined the festivities by rolling out these well-wishes for Egyptians celebrating Sham El-Nessim, complete with many traditional features of the holiday
Facebook joined the festivities by rolling out these well-wishes for Egyptians celebrating Sham El-Nessim, complete with many traditional features of the holiday

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