5 Unique Egyptian Traditions

The population of Egypt, the earliest civilization, was maintained by beer which was consumed by every person – man, woman, and child – at every meal. — Stanton Peele Ph.D.

Egypt is a magnificent country. It has impressed tourists and the rest of the world with its unique and breathtaking attractions. This country also has a rich culture dating from three eras – the Pharaonic era, the Christianity era, and the Islam era. Egypt has exciting and unique traditions as well, dating back to thousands of years ago but are still practiced up to today. Let us explore and understand some of these traditions.  


Source: commons.wikimedia.org


Shah’et El Mulukhiya While Cooking Mulukhiya 

Mulukhiya is a famous and traditional Egyptian dish which is composed of vegetables and other types of leaves. Perfecting the taste of this food is not an easy task. However, women still aspire to attain its perfection since it is a source of pride for them.  


A funny tradition of Egyptian practice is that whenever they cook Mulukhiya, they are required to do a Shah’et El Mulukhiya. Shah’et El Mulukhiya means El Mulukhiya Gasp when translated into English. This tradition demands them to inhale suddenly with their mouth open while putting garlic on their pot. While they are doing this, they have to follow it up with a loud gasp or a sound of astonishment.  


Egyptians believe that when they do this while cooking Mulukhiya, there is a large possibility that they will be able to get the right taste.  


Putting Eyeliner 

Three millenniums ago, ancient Egypt came up with the invention known as kohl. In modern times, kohl is our dark eyeliners. In their culture, putting dark eyeliner is a tradition which displays royalty. This practice also indicates their current marital status.  

 Eyeliner, eye shadow, and mascara may exaggerate facial neoteny. Adults are often viewed as beautiful when they have features typical of the young, including large eyes (as well as small noses and large lips). — Theresa E DiDonato Ph.D.

Source: pixabay.com


Their first kohl was made up of a mineral called stibnite. This mineral is usually placed on the top of the eyes of a person while an unknown green crystal covers the bottom of the eye. Once kohl is set on their eyes, it symbolizes that they are married already. Placing the dark eyeliner can be compared to the modern world wedding ring.  


Not Finishing The Juice 

When visiting an Egyptian family, it is already a common practice that juice is served in meals. However, it is a tradition that the guest should remember to finish drinking all of his juice since Egyptians believe that if the deed is not accomplished, the host family’s daughter won’t be able to get married throughout their lives.  


Conducting Seboa 

Once a baby has been born, Egyptians make sure to throw a party for both the newborn baby and the mother. This kind of party is known as the seboa. The seboa, when translated, means week. The goal of this tradition is to welcome the child in this new world and at the same time, celebrate that the mother and the child were able to survive the complicated process of giving birth.  


What’s unique with this tradition is that the people included in this event are required to shake the baby, one at a time. For them, this practice makes sure that the baby gets rid of all the dark spirits enclosed in his vulnerable body. It is a way for them to protect their new family member.  


Giving Gifts 

When you are invited to a house of an Egyptian, it is tradition to bring a gift – pastries or quality chocolates. Avoid giving the hostess flowers since it is an unacceptable practice. You can only give flowers to those who are getting married, or on worse occasions, those who are ill. Do not be offended as well if they do not open the gift once you have given it. Rest assured that they will open it later.  

 Generosity — the quality of being kind and understanding, the willingness to give others things that have value — is often defined as an act of selflessness; however, studies are now showing that generosity is actually (selfishly) in your best interest. Practicing generosity is a mental health principle, and it could be the very key to a happy and healthy life. — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

Source: en.wikipedia.org


The traditions mentioned above may be a bit unique and weird for some people. Rest assured, however, that once you have immersed yourself with the rich culture and traditions of Egypt, you will inevitably start appreciating this country more.  




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