Most important public holidays in Egypt

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Set in the northeast coast of Africa, The Arab Republic of Egypt celebrates several public holidays throughout the year. Many of the important public holidays in Egypt are also relevant Islamic holidays. If you are planning on going to Egypt it might be a good idea to check the main Egyptian national holidays before booking your flight. Ramadan for example usually takes place in May or April as they rely on the sighting of the new moon.

In order to travel for any of the Egyptian national holidays you should also obtain the visa for Egypt. Travelers from eligible countries can obtain an electronic travel authorization by completing the Egypt online visa form. Upon arrival in Egypt, all travellers should carry a valid passport in order to enter the country.

Businesses and government offices are closed on major Islamic holidays. Read further for additional details about the Egypt holiday calendar.

  • New Year’s Day - (January 1st) Though an official national holiday, many offices remain open.
  • Coptic Christmas - (January 7th) The majority of government offices and all Coptic businesses close.
  • January 25 Revolution Day - (January 25th)
  • Sham An Nessim - (March/April) This Egyptian Holiday is celebrated by all Egyptians. This tradition has Pharaonic roots.
  • Sinai Liberation Day - (April 25th) This day celebrates the return of Israel to the peninsula in 1982.
  • May Day - (May 1st) Labour Day, celebrated worldwide.
  • Revolution day - (July 23rd) Commemorates when the Free Officers seized power from the monarchy through a coup in 1952.
  • Armed Forces Day - (October 6th) On this day Egypt celebrates Egyptian successes of the 1973 war with Israel.

Besides these state holidays in Egypt, there are some main important Islamic Holidays that are embraced and celebrated in the country. The Islamic calendar is different to the Gregorian calendar as it is based on the lunar year making it 11 days shorter. Holiday days shift through the seasons impacting the Egypt holiday days each year.

Islamic holidays in Egypt might cause changes to business openings and public transport schedules. Here is a list of the main Islamic Holidays that are celebrated in Egypt:

  • Moulid An Nabi - The celebration of Prophet Mohammed’s birthday when children receive gifts.
  • Eid Al Fitr - which means the Feast of Fast-Breaking. The three-day feast celebrates the end of Ramadan.
  • Eid Al Adha - stands for Feast of Sacrifice. Commemorates Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) sacrifice and families that can afford it buy a sheep to slaughter. This holiday is celebrated over four days though several businesses are open by the third day. It is a popular time to travel for Egyptians, therefore you should book accommodation in advance.
  • Ras As Sana - New Year’s day of the Islamic calendar. It is a national holiday in Egypt, but does not have a large celebration.
  • Ramadan - dates of the beginning and end of the holiday will depend on the lunar cycle.

If you are going to be traveling to Egypt during the month of Ramadan you should bear in mind that there are some challenges. During Ramadan and in daylight hours Muslims refrain from all food and drink, including water. Because of this, many restaurants that cater to locals are likely to be closed during the day. Don’t plan on taking a tour to the desert during Ramadan as most guides will not want to go that far away. In the evening, restaurants will open ad will lay out fast-breaking feasts called iftar.

It is always smart to check holiday days when you travel. Make sure you have the Egypt tourist visa up to date if you wish to visit the country. In the case of an expired electronic visa, the online Egypt visa renewal is a simple process. Depending on your nationality, you might have to renew the visa at your nearest embassy or consulate.

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