Fasting is deeply rooted in Egyptian culture from Ancient Egypt to Coptic and Islamic periods. The tradition became one set of habits for all Egyptians, regardless of their beliefs.
Ancient Egyptians used to fast 30 days a year. How did they fast, what was the purpose of fasting, and what did they eat at the feasts that followed fasting? Was fasting then a tradition before it became a form of worship for Egyptians?
In Egypt, Coptic Christian fasting means adhering to a vegan diet called ‘Siami’, which is based on ta’ameya fava beans and foul falafel, lentils, grape leaves, potatoes, among other ingredients, which are consumed during the days of fasting. Everybody spends time eating with his family or friends. Copts also spend Ramadan the same way as Muslims do – except for dietary differences. It really is more of a cultural than a religious tradition.
The fasting period ends with a feast that is a huge celebration. Eid ul-Fitr most probably will fall on April 22 this year. It involves cooking and eating many Egyptian traditional delicacies. The food that is the most associated with the celebration is Kahk, which are nut-filled cookies covered in powdered sugar.
Kahk is believed to date back to Ancient Egypt. Carvings of people making Kahk have been found in the ruins in both Memphis and Thebes. A recipe for Kahk was also found in the Great Pyramid in Giza.
A feast of sweets, cookies and desserts
The presentation by Ambassador Amr Ramadan on Egypt’s unique traditions will be followed by a Q and A session and a sampling of traditional Eid delicacies, including Kahk, prepared under the supervision of his spouse, Mrs Heba Mamish.
If you would like to attend, please email Anita Pratap.
Seats on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Fee: NOK 40 for a gift.