The Saladin Citadel’s iconic iftar cannon was fired at sunset today for the first time since 1992 to mark the first break-fast of the holy month of Ramadan, according to local media reports.
Yesterday, Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities released a statement announcing the news, saying it had conducted a final cannon firing drill using the Cairo Citadel’s illustrious mounted gun, which hadn’t gone off in nearly 30 years.
The agency added that it had ordered the restoration of the cannon and that its firing will continue throughout the holy month to alert those observing the Ramadan fast when it is time to break it. The statement also added that the firing of the cannon will be accompanied by laser beams.
Restoration works included the removal of a layer of rust that covered the cannon and cleaning it from within.
This comes as part of the government’s efforts to develop touristic establishments and heritage sites.
The firing of the Ramadan Cannon is one of the holy month’s most treasured traditions in Muslim culture. According to most historians—some reckon it dates back to the 10th century, the ancient tradition started in Egypt and later spread to the rest of the Muslim world.