Arts & Culture

The Heart of Cairo Illuminated with a Christmas-Mulid Tree

The Heart of Cairo Illuminated with a Christmas-Mulid Tree

Credit: Aswat Masriya
Credit: Aswat Masriya

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.

A 'Mulid doll' which is normally given to girls to celebrate Mulid El-Nabi (Credit: Al-Masry Al-Youm)
A ‘Mulid doll’ which is normally given to girls to celebrate Mulid El-Nabi (Credit: Al-Masry Al-Youm)

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’.

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Credit: Aswat Masriya

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.

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