Sunday، 08 April 2018 - 12:00 AM
For more than 4500 years, Egyptians have been celebrating one of the oldest local festivities, namely; Sham al-Nasseim. The harvest season in ancient Egypt was called "Shamo", hence the name: "Sham al-Nasseim".
In Plutarch's annals, we read that, on this day, ancient Egyptians would offer salted fish, lettuce and onions to the deities. The same kinds of food are still on the table for families to eat as a tradition giving the day a special taste.
Lettuce and "Malana" are green and leafy plants that symbolize hope at the beginning of the spring season. Colored eggs, on the other hand, symbolize the renewal of life. To date, many Egyptians still color their eggs in Sham al-Nasseim. It is believed that ancient Egyptians were the first to traditionalize the practice.
Salted fish was also eaten as a symbol of fertility and welfare. Modern science has proved that it is better to eat a combination of alkaline-based salted fish with acid-based green onions. Salted fish and onions contain phosphorus and vitamins and therefore are very useful to both mind and body.
Sham al-Nasseim comes immediately after Easter celebrations and thus always falls on a Monday.