You must be asking yourself what the word “marhaba” means, and perhaps even the language in which it belongs. “Marhaba” in the Arabic language would be simply translated as “welcome”, and you are welcomed to be informed comprehensibly and accurately regarding the Arab holidays according to the Muslim traditions.
The events celebrated by those who believe and follow the Muslim faith and tradition revolve around two major occasions known as Ramadan and Hajj, which, like all Muslim celebrations, are predicted according to the Islamic calendar. The calendar is lunar based and can cause date variations every year for each specific holiday.
Popular Arab Holidays
The first major celebration which marks the beginning of the year is “Muharram”, which is the New Year holiday according to Islamic tradition. This holy month of Muharram marks the beginning of the Islamic year ever since the year of Hegira, which is the year in which the holy prophet Muhammad moved from the holy capital of the Muslim world (Mecca), to the city of Medina. From a historical sense, the year of the Hegira would be year 622 A.D. This Arabic tradition is welcomed every year with rather quiet celebrations, mainly involving prayer, reflection upon one’s self, and generally focusing on the spiritual aspects of life.
The next holiday in the Islamic calendar would be the celebration of prophet Muhammad’s birthday, which in Arabic is called Mawlidal-Nabi. This day signifies the birthday of the holy prophet, father of the Islamic faith and tradition, and it is celebrated on the 12th day of the Rabi I month according to the Arabic lunar calendar. This day is celebrated by remembering the life of the prophet and the significance of all his actions and teachings. It is worth mentioning that this day is not celebrated quite by all Muslim faith believers, such as the Islamic Fundamentalists.
One of the most important Arabic holidays is the Ramadan, which is a month of abstinence and fasting. During the month of Ramadan, those who follow the faith accordingly will not eat or drink from dawn until dusk. This way, they learn to live as humble as the poor and focus on their spiritual nurturing, through prayers and reflection, without any distractions of the body. The month concludes with family and friends celebrations, which also involve charitable actions such as feeding the poor or donating to mosques.
The final celebration which concludes the main religious holidays in the Arabic world is the Hajj, otherwise known as the pilgrimage to Mecca. While the Hajj usually is a once in life occurrence for every Muslim, the holiday is concluded festively with the sacrificing of a lamb, which is to be shared with friends and family, thus symbolizing generosity, one of the main pillar of the Islamic faith.
Holidays to Egypt allow you to explore one of the birthplaces of civilization, and drink in the beauty of some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. On your trip, you’ll also encounter friendly people anxious to bid you “Marhaba!” or “Welcome!” while you get a feel for local customs and culture.
Egypt has countless unique attractions to experience, but there are some that are especially popular with tourists, including:
- Valley of the Kings – The burial ground for many of Egypt’s Pharaohs, the Valley of the Kings, is one of the most common spots to visit while on Egyptian holidays. The site sits on the west bank of Luxor and is a ticketed attraction. The price of admission allows you to visit 3 different tombs, and you can purchase a second ticket to see the tomb of Tutankhamun.
- Naama Bay – You may not think of Egypt as a tropical beach paradise, but Naama Bay will change your mind. A visit to the city of Sharm El Sheikh lets you enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and splash in warm water at any time of the year. If you’re fond of water recreation, Naama Bay is the perfect place to go for scuba diving, kayaking, para-sailing or windsurfing. You may also book a glass bottom boat tour to see the ocean while lounging in comfort.
- The Hanging Church – Built on the site of the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Hanging Church is a Coptic Christian place of worship that is truly a magnificent site to behold. The nave of the church is suspended over a passage to the former gardens. There are more than 110 holy relics housed in the church. Come during a service to get the full experience!
- St. Catherine’s Monastery – A UNESCO World Heritage Site, St. Catherine’s Monastery is located on the spot where it is believed that Moses saw the miracle of the burning bush, an important event in both the Christian and Jewish faiths. The monastery is located in South Sinai and was built in 565 A.D.. Not only can you take a step back in time as you tour the site, but you can also view a number of priceless manuscripts, icons, oil paintings and mosaics.
- Nile Cruise – One of the best ways to see Egypt is to travel the Nile River from Aswan to Luxor. The Nile is inextricably intertwined with the history of Egypt, and a number of key ancient sites are located near its banks. Cruises will dock in these areas, allowing you to tour at your leisure. You’ll also get to see a number of islands that are difficult to visit without taking this type of voyage. In between stops, you’ll be treated to true luxury aboard a well-appointed cruise ship. Most cruises last for 4 days.
Start planning your trip to Egypt today, and get ready to hear friendly voices saying “Marhaba!” and to explore both the past and present of one of the most beautiful and exotic destinations in the world.