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Here in Egypt in Sham El Nessim? All You Need to Know

“Sham El Nessim” or “smell the breeze”! If you want to translate it literally, it’s one of the oldest festivals in Egypt and one of the most cherished occasions when families and friends come together to celebrate. Everyone shares meals and love regardless of faith, beliefs, or background.


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When does it happen?

Every year on Orthodox holidays, specifically Easter Monday, everyone in Egypt is ready to celebrate the most sacred occasions, which turns out to be a typical jovial day. 

What to expect in Sham El Nessim?

You are in the right place if you’re ready to participate in jovial celebrations. Egyptians unite to sham el nessiem or typically smell the fantastic breeze and celebrate the beginning of spring. So, people head to public gardens to enjoy the pleasant weather.

They get ready to eat fish (salted pickled fish), ring (smoked herring fish), onions, and eggs. 

Regardless of this amazing atmosphere, as a foreigner in Egypt, you should know these tips from a local perspective:

  • Anticipate large crowds in public spaces, which become the pastime of choice.
  • Sham El Nessim’s timing varies yearly, so please recheck it while planning your Egypt trip. 
  • Why do we say it’s the oldest celebration in Egypt, or maybe in history? Ancient Egyptians believed Sham El Nessiem was the beginning of creation, and they spread joy everywhere at this time. 
  • While planning your tours in Egypt during Sham El Nessim, avoid going to well-known attractions, including the Pyramids. It’s a national holiday nationwide, and people will look for open landscapes to enjoy family activities.
  • Expect smelly places wherever you go! Yeah, it’s not encouraging, but you need to know! Everyone eats fesikh or ringa mixed with seasoned onions.
  • If you want to experience this wonderful ambiance, hire a local guide who will guide you through tasting traditional food, decorating eggs, having a really good time with a local family, and exploring the best things to do in Egypt.  
  • If this is your first time eating something like salted or fermented fish or Mugil, don’t try fetish. Instead, let your local guide take you to well-known and trusted restaurants to taste it. Even so, one or two bites is more than enough. 
  • What if you need to go to one of these places that sell fesikh or ringa to get the most authentic experience, El Fouad For Salted Fish is the best choice.
  • Only go to Nile cruising if you have your local guide in Egypt. Again, it’s a popular national day; you can expect crowds everywhere. 
  • It’s an excellent time to visit the beach. The weather is stunning; however, the prices are higher than they should be. 
  • If you’re interested in Arabic culture, Sham El Nessim is a perfect time to attend a concert or a musical event while dancing, singing, and experiencing genuine oriental culture. Just check TicketsMarche or Cairo Opera House.



Remember you can dive into Egyptian culture with a local tour guide with Simsem! Not only touristic places.. but cultural festivals, meals, and spots. Download Simsem…

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