Islamic New Year is an annual public holiday for the people of Egypt. On Awal Muharram, the first day of the month of Muharram, Egyptian Muslims may pray, attend mosque, or even fast at night like other Muslims. But in other ways, Egypt celebrates Islamic New Year differently than other Islamic countries.
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On Awal Muharram, Egyptians in Cairo and other big cities attend Islamic New Year shows featuring such attractions as traditional Sufi dancers.
Singing, dancing, and jubilation is in the air, and people wear new clothes, visit family and friends, attend New Year’s parties, and feast. Children are often given “dolls” made of candy and sweets.
From the moment the Grand Mufti at the Muhammad Ali Mosque in Cairo announces the moon-sighting that marks the beginning of a new year, a party-like spirit prevails. That’s quite different to most Muslim countries, where Islamic New Year is solemn.