Egypt's the place to be this Ramadan

9th May 2013

Egypt is one of the most colourful countries on the planet to celebrate Ramadan this summer.

The north African country is already much loved by holidaymakers on specialist tours for its rich mixture of cultural sites and natural and man-made wonders such as the Pyramids.

But the 30-day festival from July 9-August 7 brings it even more under the spotlight.

More than nine in 10 Egyptians are Muslim. They view Ramadan as one of the most important festivals and events in their religious calendar, turning Egypt into one of the most spectacularly joyous countries to mark the occasion.

Mosques and streets are lit up with gorgeous colours each evening, and traditional music and entertainment enjoyed throughout the night, with many staying awake until dawn.

Working hours are usually shortened during this festival to allow for more prayer and reflection.

The fast is broken every night with the meal referred to as "Iftar", which is often taken with friends and family in festive mood.

Ramadan's finish - and with it the end of fasting - is commemorated with a festival called Eid-al-Fitr, which involves huge feasts.

Ramadan is celebrated during the Islamic calendar's ninth month to mark the time when the Qu'ran was revealed to the prophet Mohammed. Followers of the Islamic faith fast for the whole month, with no eating or drinking from sunrise until sunset.

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