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Sham el Nessim

Sham el Nessim 2019 and 2020

Sham el Nessim is an Egyptian public holiday marking the beginning of springtime. It always comes the day after Eastern Orthodox Easter, as calculated by the Coptic Church, but it is not really a Christian holiday as such.

201929 AprMonSham el Nessim
202020 AprMonSham el Nessim

The holiday actually dates back to the ancient Egyptians over 3,000 years ago. The name Sham el Nessim means “renewal of life”, referring to the new life that flourishes during the spring and to the ancient Egyptian belief that the day marks the beginning of the creation of the world.

On this day, it is traditional to eat “fesikh”, a kind of salty, dried, mullet fish that has been allowed to ferment. Lettuce and scallions are also on the menu, as well as painted boiled eggs. Each type of food represents ideas of the creation tradition.