Page update - Jan 4, 2023
What are the national holidays in Egypt? How, what, when do Egyptians celebrate? When are the days off in the country? Which holidays are postponed? Read the answers to these questions and see the calendar on this page.
The holidays in Egypt are very interesting. There are 18 holidays a year! For comparison, in the UK it is 8, in the US it is 10. Egypt has three holidays at once under the name "Revolution Day". We will talk below about how they differ. Islamic and Orthodox religious holidays peacefully coexist in the calendar.
See the calendar of national holidays in Egypt in the table below:
|Revolution Day 2011
|Sham Ennessim (Spring Festival) and Orthodox Easter Monday
|Sinai Liberation Day
|Eid al-Fitr (Uraza Bayram)
|Revolution Day 2013
|Eid al-Adha (Eid-el-Kibr, Kurban Bayram)
|June 29 - July 1
|Al-Hijrah (Islamic New Year)
|Revolution Day 1952
|Armed Forces Day
|Mawlid Al-Nabi (Al-Mouled Al-Nabawy, Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad)
Recall that the dates of the Islamic holidays: Eid al-Fitr, Arafat Day, Eid al-Adha, Al-Hijra, and Mawlid do not have an exact date according to the Gregorian calendar. The dates are calculated from the islamic lunar calendar and change every year, usually shifting by 10 days to the beginning of the year.
The date of Sham Ennessim is always defined as the first Monday after Orthodox Easter (coinciding with Easter Monday). It also changes every year.
The postponement of holidays in Egypt is not now practiced, except for the Revolution Day of 1952. This is the most important secular holiday in the country. If it falls on a Friday or Saturday (the weekend in Egypt), then it is moved to Thursday or Sunday.
It's no secret that Egyptian resorts and the rest of Egypt are two different worlds. In the resorts, most holidays are not at all noticeable to tourists. Some holidays are VERY visible when the Egyptians come to the All Inclusive hotels, and their behavior brings European tourists into cultural shock. We will talk in detail below about all the holidays and note those of them when it is clearly not worth a holiday in Egypt.
Neither December 31st or January 1st are national holidays in Egypt, they are working days.
Ordinary Egyptians do not celebrate the New Year in a big way, as we do. It is customary there to sit around the table on December 31, listen to the countdown, exchange small gifts, and go to bed. They need to go to work on January 1. This is true of most ordinary Egyptians.
Another thing is the hotels in the resort areas of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada. The New Year is a real fest there with a festive dinner and a show program for guests. During the New Year holidays, the occupancy rate of hotels is close to 100%.
Some Egyptians celebrate the New Year in restaurants and clubs in their cities. The table must be booked in advance. Usually, such parties end at 3 am and the guests go home. The tradition of walking around the streets at night in Egypt is almost non-existent, it's now just slowly inspiring.
In Cairo, it is interesting to get to the Great Egyptian Pyramids, there are the fest laser show and fireworks. Another good option to celebrate the New Year in Egypt is to go on a cruise on the Nile and meet for a celebratory dinner on deck.
This is neither a mistake nor a joke. Orthodox Christmas is indeed a national holiday in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
About 10% of Egypt's population are Coptic Christians, and they are more than 10 million people. In 2005, President Hosni Mubarak made Orthodox Christmas an official holiday in the country.
According to the Coptic tradition, Christmas begins much earlier, from November 25, from 43 days of fasting. During this time a Christian should eat only food of vegetal origin. On January 6, at 10:30 pm, the Christmas solemn service begins in Coptic churches.
After the solemn service, a fest dinner is held at home, where all kinds of food can be eaten. The traditional food of the Copts at Christmas is "fattah," which is lamb meat with rice. Kahk Christmas cookies are very popular and are given to each other.
For the Arab population, Christmas doesn't really mean anything. It's just an extra day off for them. There are no big celebrations on this day.
Before 2015, many hotels used to have festive dinners in honor of Orthodox Christmas. But since 2015, flights from Russia to Egyptians resorts were banned. Russians were the majority of Orthodox tourists. The dinners are a thing of the past.
Egypt has 3 national holidays called "Revolution Day" at once. There have been many revolutions in the country, each one should be celebrated. This is the first such holiday, it is called "Revolution Day January 25" or "Revolution Day 2011".
It marks the anniversary of the events of 2011, when Egypt overthrew Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled the country for 30 years. The unrest began on January 25, the "Police Day" holiday, and lasted 18 days.
Now it is a double holiday, because "Police Day" has not been cancelled. It marks the anniversary of the events of 1952, when the Egyptian police officers in Ismailia sided with the revolutionaries against the British army. At that time, 50 policemen were killed and about 100 were wounded in the fight. It was a prelude to another revolution, which went down in history as the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.
No big mass events are usually held. It is even more of a day of mourning for the dead and injured in those events than a day of celebration. On this day, the debate whether the revolution of 2011 was good for the people, or whether it was a turn in the wrong direction.
Most Egyptians see the revolutions as a positive event. And they see the day as a well-deserved day off. For tourists in hotels, the holiday doesn't feel like a holiday at all.
But if you want to visit malls or amusement parks in cities, expect large queues and crowds of people. On this day, tourists are recommended to stay in the hotel on the beach or pool.
Easter is Sunday, Easter Monday is a day off.
In ancient Egypt times, there was a spring festival, called Shemu, when salted fish, cabbage, and onions were sacrificed to the gods. After the Christianity adopting in Egypt, the Shemu festival smoothly merged with Easter. After the arrival of the Arabs and Islam, the festival remained and almost unchanged to this day. Only the sacrifices to the gods are no longer offered. The holiday is now called Sham Ennessim.
The date of Easter changes from year to year.
In 2022 - Easter is on April 24, Easter Monday is on April 25.
In 2023 - Easter is on April 16, Easter Monday is on April 17.
In 2024 - Easter is on May 5, Easter Monday is on May 6.
In 2025 - Easter is on April 20, Easter Monday is on April 21.
The celebration of Easter by the Egyptian Copts does not differ much from others. Painted eggs, sweet bread, and solemn worship. For the Arabs, Easter Sunday is no different from ordinary Sunday.
The following Monday after Easter Sunday is a double holiday. First, it is Easter Monday. Second, it is the Sham Ennessim Festival, aka the Spring Festival. It is the Spring Festival, recognized as a national holiday in Egypt, which is a weekend.
On this day, it is customary to have picnics and go out of town. The traditional dish on Sham Ennessim is called "feshik" - a salted mullet. It is also traditional to eat cabbage, green onions, lupine, and painted eggs.
Sham Ennessim can definitely be called the most ancient holiday in Egypt. Plutarch wrote about it (meaning the feast of Shemu) as early as the first century. Probably the holiday existed even earlier, but no one knows, there are no records in ancient sources.
It is a family holiday, it is of little interest to tourists. If you decide to experience it, then go to public parks, where they often organize mass events.
In 1967, the Six Day War took place between Israel and the Arab countries: Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Technically Algeria and Iraq took part in the war, but in fact they did not, they just did not have time.
In just six days, the Israeli army defeated the forces of Egypt and Syria. It was the most painful defeat of the modern Egyptian nation in its history. As a result of the war, the Sinai Peninsula was completely occupied by Israel.
It was not until 1982 that Israel and Egypt reached an agreement, and Sinai reverted to Egypt. The Egyptians agreed to declare the entire Sinai Peninsula a demilitarized zone. The last Israeli soldier did not leave Taba until 1988. The anniversary of this event is celebrated in Egypt every April 25.
It is not very clear why the word "liberation" is used, because no one actually liberated anything. The Israelis themselves left Sinai. You could say that this is a big diplomatic victory for Egypt.
For most Egyptians, April 25th is simply an extra day off. There are no mass events. Only the military and police often hand out awards on this holiday, hold oath-taking ceremonies and rare parades.
For tourists, April 25 goes almost unnoticed. However, if it falls on a Thursday or Sunday (in Egypt the weekend is Friday and Saturday), it becomes noticeable. Many Egyptians check into hotels for the long weekend, and Europeans are often shocked by their behavior.
Like most Europeans, Egyptians celebrate May 1, a day to honor all people who work for the good of society and the country. The holiday was introduced by President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1964. For ordinary Egyptians, there is nothing special about this day, just an extra day off.
For tourists, May 1 is quite noticeable, especially if it falls on a Sunday or Thursday (in Egypt the weekend is Friday and Saturday). Hotels are always full of people with all the unpleasant consequences. Egyptians come and often take extra days off at their own expense to arrange a mini-vacation. Their behavior often leaves Europeans in shock.
May 1 is celebrated in almost all European countries. And Europeans like to take extra days off to fly to Egypt for a vacation. All hotels are packed to capacity, sun beds and umbrellas are occupied, the pool is jammed, there are not enough tables, plates, cutlery.
Of course, there are responsible hotels in Egypt, where everything is fine, ready for an excess of guests. But these hotels are very few. We sincerely wish all readers to get exactly in such a hotel, if you are going on vacation in Egypt on May 1.
Three days off in a row.
Eid al-Fitr begins after the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Since Ramadan is determined by the lunar Islamic calendar, accordingly, its date changes each year and shifts to the beginning of the year by the Gregorian calendar.
In 2022 - May 1 is the last day of Ramadan, May 2-4 Eid is Eid al-Fitr.
In 2023 - April 21 is the last day of Ramadan, April 22-24 is Eid al-Fitr.
In 2024 - April 9 is the last day of Ramadan, April 10-12 is Eid al-Fitr.
In 2025 - May 30 is the last day of Ramadan, May 31 to June 2 is Eid al-Fitr.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast. It is forbidden to drink or eat from sunrise to sunset. It is customary to eat only after sunset (this meal called "iftar"). Fasting during Ramadan is important for Muslims as a demonstration of their willingness to endure hardship but to follow the path of Islam.
When Ramadan ends, there is a big celebration of Eid al-Fitr. In Egypt, there are three days of general holidays, the fourth day is usually a day of work for civil servants and a day off for the private sector.
In Eid al-Fitr, it is customary to eat well and a lot, and not for nothing the name literally translates as "The Feast of the breaking of the fast" or "The celebration of the end of fasting". Egyptians have long weekends, and many go to the Red Sea in the All Inclusive hotels. Now imagine what happens in those hotels when the Egyptians come in droves! However, if you can not imagine, read the reviews of shocked tourists.
On Eid al-Fitr, it is customary to have fun, since during Ramadan a Muslim should be modest. Accordingly, all the water parks and amusement parks are crowded.
The festival of Eid Al-Fitr is definitely the worst days for tourists to vacation in Egypt.
The only advantage is discounts and sales. In Ramadan, it is not customary to make large purchases, and on Eid al-Fitr it is customary to spend all accumulated money. There is even a tradition of giving small amounts of money to children for expenses on Eid al-Fitr, this gift is called "Eidiyah". Supermarkets and stores arrange total sales, promotions, give the biggest discounts. However, Egypt is not so popular for shopping, and this advantage is doubtful.
The second of three such holidays. It marks the anniversary of the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
After the overthrow of President Mubarak in 2011, Mohamed Morsi won the elections. In 2012, Morsi signed a "constitutional declaration" which enshrined his right to make all decisions and laws personally. This event provoked outrage in political circles and among the people. In fact, Morsi became a dictator.
On June 30, 2013, some 14 million Egyptians marched in protests. Egyptians then feared that the country would become a police state, as it had been under Mubarak. Or even become an Islamic country with the supremacy of Sharia law.
A few days later, the military took over, removed Morsi and took him into custody on July 4. Morsi was later even sentenced to death, but was later commuted to life imprisonment.
The coup was led by the military, General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. He was also elected as the new president in 2014. In general, Egyptians consider Al-Sisi's rule to be positive, with no new revolutions yet in sight. In memory of that revolution, June 30 is a day off (since 2015).
Most Egyptians see June 30 as an extraordinary day off. This holiday is often moved to Thursday or Sunday if it falls on a weekend (Friday or Saturday).
For tourists, nothing particularly interesting happens, mass events are not arranged. But tourists are recommended to spend this day at the beach. Entertainment sites and attractions are usually crowded and there are queues.
The third such Egyptian holiday on the calendar. It is the main secular holiday in Egypt, also called "National Day" or "Independence Day".
Egypt gained nominal independence from the British Empire in 1922, then the Kingdom of Egypt was formed with the kings of the Mohammed Ali dynasty. In fact, there was no independence. British troops were in the country, controlling almost all of the territory.
After the Arab-Israeli war of 1948-1949 it was King Farouk who was blamed for the defeat, and social tensions were growing. On July 23, 1952, a group of military "Free Officers" under the command of General Mohammed Naguib carried out a coup - overthrew the king and established the republic.
On July 23, a military parade, demonstrations, concerts, and other mass events are mandatory. The president makes a speech. Gamal Abdel Nasser was actively involved in the events of 1952, and flowers are brought to his grave.
For tourists on the Red Sea resorts, the holiday of July 23rd goes unnoticed. It is not customary for Egyptians to come to hotels on this day, as they prefer to stay at home and take part in the celebration.
Celebrated on the 9th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijja, just before the beginning of the festival of Eid al-Adha (Kurban Bayram). On this day, pilgrims in Mecca come to Mount Arafat (Hill Arafat), where the Prophet Muhammad gave one of his last sermons.
It is believed that Allah hears the prayers best on this day. It is a time when it is customary to make amends for the sins of the entire previous year.
The exact date is determined by the Islamic calendar and changes every year. In 2022 - July 9, 2023 - June 28, 2024 - June 16, 2025 - June 6.
It is an exclusively religious holiday. No mass events are held. It is customary to pray and prepare for the upcoming Eid al-Adha festival.
It is a great day for tourists. There are almost no Egyptians at the attractions, amusement and water parks, as they are busy with their business.
Four days off in a row.
It is celebrated on the 10th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijja.
The exact date is determined by the Islamic calendar and changes every year. In 2022 - July 10-13, in 2023 - June 29 - July 2, in 2024 - June 17-20, in 2025 - June 7-10.
The name of the feast translates as "Festival of Sacrifice" in honor of the prophet Ibrahim. Allah sent an angel to him demanding that he sacrifice his son. Obedient to Allah, Ibrahim almost did it, but Allah stopped the sacrifice at the last moment. Instead of his son, Ibrahim sacrificed a ram.
On Eid al-Adha, Muslims sacrifice an animal. It does not have to be a ram, but a goat, a camel or an ox is also suitable. But the ram is the most common and practical option. According to tradition, the sacrifice is offered after the morning prayer in the mosque.
The main question that tourists ask about the festival of Eid al-Adha: do they offer sacrifices in public in Egypt? The answer is, of course NO, the law forbids it. In the old days, it was customary to slaughter an animal in the yard of the house. Nowadays, the animal is taken to a special slaughterhouse, and then the meat is taken away. In rural areas, where there are no such public slaughterhouses, the animal is slaughtered in the yard. But there is no public sacrifice anywhere.
Not everyone has the time to buy an animal and take it to the slaughterhouse. In addition, not everyone wants to fill their refrigerator with meat. An adult sheep gives 30-40 kilograms of meat, they keep one third for themselves and receive one third as a gift from their relatives. What to do with it? Should the whole freezer be filled only with mutton? There are special funds for such people where one can donate money and get a kilo or two of meat on holiday. Convenient.
In addition, the animal is expensive. The price of a ram in Egypt is 3000-5000 Egyptian pounds. For the current rates, see our review "Egyptian pound". By European standards, it is an affordable amount, but do not forget that Egyptians live poorer. Many Egyptians do not have that kind of money.
It is customary to divide the meat: a third to keep in the family, a third to give to relatives, and a third to donate to charity. Meat is usually eaten with rice, this dish is called "fatta". On Eid al-Adha, it is customary to meet with family and friends, to arrange large dinners for guests. It is a family holiday.
Egyptians are not in the habit of going to hotels on the Red Sea these days. Although some do, there are more Egyptians in the hotels. In general, Eid Al-Adha goes unnoticed by tourists.
Also known as Maal Hijrah. The Islamic New Year is not like the New Year that we are used to. No big celebrations, no fireworks, no celebrations in the streets at night, no Santa Claus.
It is a purely religious holiday, when the faithfuls need to think about their soul and frailty in this world. In mosques, they hold sermons. At home, it is customary to read the Quran. It is the first month of Muharram, considered to be second in importance to the faithful, after Ramadan.
The word "hijrah" refers to the escape of the Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622. It was this event that became the starting point for the Islamic lunar calendar.
The exact date of the holiday changes every year. In 2022 it is July 30, in 2023 it is July 19, in 2024 it is July 8, and in 2025 it is June 27.
For tourists, Al-Hijrah goes completely unnoticed. This is probably for the best.
Commemorates the anniversary of the beginning of the 1973 Arab-Israeli War, the so-called Doomsday War.
We are not quite sure the event is good for a holiday. The Egyptian and Syrian armies attacked Israel, even advancing in the first few days, taking advantage of the element of surprise. The Egyptians occupied part of the Sinai. But then the Israelis counterattacked. One of the Egyptian armies (3rd Army) in the Sinai was encircled, and the Israelis were only 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Cairo. The war ended thanks to a UN resolution.
The war lasted only 18 days. Both sides suffered heavy losses. For the Egyptian Armed Forces this war can hardly be called a success.
However, the holiday is celebrated with a military parade and fireworks. By the way, it was during such a parade in 1981 that President Anwar Sadat was assassinated.
If you read the Egyptian press, this day is called "The October Victory". If one compares it with the failures of the Egyptian army in the Six-Day War in 1967, the fighting in 1973 can really be called a victory. At least for the first few days, until the Israelis brought in reinforcements and changed their tactics.
For tourists, October 6 passes unnoticed. The parade is held in Cairo, but the cities on the Red Sea are quiet as if there were no celebration.
The full name of the holiday is "Mawlid an-Nabi ash-Sharif". Briefly, it is called "Mawlid Al-Nabi" or "Mawlid".
The exact date of the holiday changes every year. In 2022 it is October 8, in 2023 it is September 28, in 2024 it is September 16, and in 2025 it is September 6.
This holiday is very quiet in Islamic countries. Muslims mostly visit mosques, pray, listen to sermons and read the Quran.
In Egypt, however, it is a full-fledged holiday. Around the 10th century, during the Fatimid Dynasty, Mawlid was celebrated on a grand scale. Then it became a tradition to gather in public places, sing religious hymns and recite poems dedicated to the prophet Muhammad. Nowadays, group singing is not as common in Egypt, but it does occur.
Halawat al-Mawlid holiday candies are also included in the tradition. Most often they are made of caramel. The most popular types are: Al-Arosa (bride) or Al-Hisan (horse). Also popular are the caramel nuts Fulia and Semsemiyeh.
For tourists, the Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad goes unnoticed. Egyptians usually remain at home and do not go out to hotels on this day.
- The holy month of Ramadan is a holiday for believers. The month of Ramadan has features which you can read about on our page "Ramadan in Egypt";
- The holy day of the week, Friday, is also a mini-holiday, especially for believers. Friday can impose its own restrictions on tourists, as you can read about on our page "Friday in Egypt".
Have a great holiday in Egyptian resorts, and read our interesting and useful pages about Egypt for tourists (see the list of the pages below).
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