• 08:16
  • Tuesday ,22 January 2019

Epiphany feast spreading joy

By-Ihab Roshdy

Article Of The Day


Tuesday ,22 January 2019

Epiphany feast spreading joy

In January 2016 Al-Zaher, the former governor of Alexandria promised that Alexandria would witness an international celebration next year. However, the governor left soon before he applies his creative idea to restore the days when Epiphany was a national holiday celebrated by all Egyptians. 

Epiphany is one of the greatest festivals in the Coptic Church when Jesus Christ revealed his divinity according to the Christian faith celebrated in Egypt on the eleventh of the Coptic month of Tuba. It is one of the feasts that are celebrated at night since Christmas and Epiphany were celebrated together at the first centuries, but were separated later and kept their time of celebration according to Bishop Benjamin of Monofia. 
The Epiphany was celebrated by all Egyptians during the reign of the Ikhshidid dynasty and the Fatimid dynasty. Al-Maqrizi said it was a very great season. Al-Masoudi described the Night of the Epiphany feast in his book  Mawrouj Al-Zahab  as a great night for its people in Egypt. He added that Al-Ahshid Muhammad Ibn Tufaj was the governor of Egypt who ordered to light 1000 lamps in addition to those lit by the people to celebrate the feast of Epiphany. 
Dr. Ahmed Mijahid said in his book  Our of the context  that the rituals of the popular celebration of the epiphany extends back to the pre-Christian era in Egypt, where the pharaohs celebrated the day of the winter solstice by diving in the Nile waters, celebrating the plowing of the earth and planting the seeds. Thus, it was not strange to be celebrated even by the governor. 
Muslims used to share the celebration with the Copts at the banks of Nile River and governors used to distribute free food on the people, and these celebrations extended to recent time as mentioned by the Egyptian poet Abnoudy who remember lighted shining crosses and women distributing popcorn and sugar canes.
I wonder after 50 years on this wonderful carnival: can Egypt restore it and share its joy!