Today is Sham al-Nassim, the ancient Egyptian spring holiday celebrated on the Monday following Coptic Easter Sunday. It is not a Christian holiday; its origins are said to be with the Ancient Egyptian Shemu or spring holiday, later in the Christian period localized around Easter; Muslims celebrate equally with Christians and, until their exodus in the Nasser era, Egyptian Jews.
It's usually said that only two Egyptian holidays date back to the days of the paharaohs: Sham al-Nassim and Wafa' al-Ni8l in mid August, which marks the Nile flood (though the Aswan High Dam ended the annual inundation in the 1960s.) Both, like so much of Egyptian history, center on the Nile. On Sham al-Nassim Egyptians picnic on the river, stroll in parks, gardens, or the zoo, and eat seasonal foods: a dried ... [view whole blog post ]