Eid Celebrations: The Story Behind Our Favorite Eid Traditions

I When houses’ scent turns from Konafa to freshly baked Kahk, and the streets become crowded with shoppers, and radio stations start streaming “Tam EL Badr Badry..”, you know Eid is finally approaching!

Eid celebrations are one of the happiest times of the year, and no matter how old you’re, you find an enjoyment during it.

First things first, eating Kahk. Through the past couple of years bakeries and patisseries have come up with new editions of kahk, stuffed with chocolate, red velvet, things that didn’t exist before. But have you ever wondered when had kahk been made for the first time?
Its journey has started really long time ago even before becoming relatable to Eid

During Ancient Egypt era, Egyptians used to bake kahk and decorate it with different styles and shapes, and in another stories they used to make it in the shape of rings. Murals of kahk was found in the temples of the 18th dynasty, a grand start for a dessert!

Ancient egypt maquette of bakers source: opportunities for egypt artists
Ancient egypt maquette of bakers. Source: opportunities for egypt artists

Many years later, during the Tulonian era kahk appeared again but this time stuffed with gold! Then during the Fatimid era kahk became an icon for Eid along with the rest common sweets we bake nowadays. Also, Dar ElFetra was founded by the Caliph ElAziz Bellah to prepare and bake kahk and biscuits to be distributed on every clerk around the country.
Moreover, clothes and money were rewarded to the public as Eideya and special gifts to those who read and finish Quraan during the holy month Ramadan.

After that, in the Ottoman era, words like “Kol We Ashkor” and “Kol Hanee’an” were added to kahks’ mold, and these molds are displayed in the Islamic Art Museum in Cairo.

Source: Google
Source: Google

Since then, baking Kahk and biscuits has been a tradition in most of the families. Earlier, mothers and family members used to gather up and mix and shape everything at home and bake it in the bakeries around the neighborhood. Nowadays, with the many options to buy from, lots of people quit baking, missing one enjoyable yet exhausting process.

Eid in the 50s. Source: “أهل مصر زمان" on Facebook
Eid in the 50s. Source: “أهل مصر زمان” on Facebook

If you’re not a big fan of sweets, then Eideya probably is the thing that pops up in your mind when it comes to Eid. Whether you’re the giver or the receiver, you must admit that is one of the iconic things that appeared during celebrating Eid long time ago. From gold to money and clothes, from officials to family and friends, it changed through history but the kind effect is always the same.

Not interested in sweets nor Eideya? New clothes? YES
A sign of Eid approaching is buying new clothes to complete the celebration. Back in the 50s, buying new pajamas was celebrating-eid-in-style kind of shopping, specially the kastor ones. However, new pajamas is a must to many people up until now.

Lastly, put on your favorite clothes whether new or old, contact your family and friends, enjoy your Eid to the fullest and Happy Vacation!