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Coptic New Year (Eid El Nayrouz)

 

The Feast of Nairuz I | Happy New Coptic Year | The Feast of Nayroz II | Feast of the Nayrouz to the Cross

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Happy Coptic New Year

 

St-Takla.org         Image: Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (c. 22 December 244  3 December 311), commonly known as Diocletian (Dekledianos), Roman Emperor from 284 to 305 صورة: دقلديانوس - واسمه بالكامل جايوس أوريليوس فاليريوس ديوكلتيانوس (244-311)، حاكم روماني في الفترة من 284-305

St-Takla.org Image: Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus (c. 22 December 244 3 December 311), commonly known as Diocletian (Dekledianos), Roman Emperor from 284 to 305

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: دقلديانوس - واسمه بالكامل جايوس أوريليوس فاليريوس ديوكلتيانوس (244-311)، حاكم روماني في الفترة من 284-305

The Coptic Egyptian Church celebrates the Coptic New Year (Anno Martyrus), or year of the martyrs on 11th of September. The Coptic calendar is the ancient Egyptian one of twelve 30-day months plus a "small" five-day monthsix-day in a leap year. The months retain their ancient Egyptian names which denote the gods and godesses of the Egyptians, and the years three seasons, the inundation, cultivation, and harvest, are related to the Nile and the annual agricultural cycle. But the Copts chose the year 284AD to mark the beginning of the calendar, since this year saw the seating of Diocletian as Romes emperor and the consequent martyrdom of thousands upon thousands of Egypts Christians.

Apart from the Churchs celebration, Copts celebrate the New Year by eating red dates, which are now in season, believing the red symbolises the martyrs blood and the white date heart the martyrs pure hearts.

This year, more than one of Egypts NGOs has been eager to mark the Coptic New Year or Feast of al-Nairuz. The interest centres on Nairuz being a thoroughly Egyptian heritage and, as such, warrants preservation. The Enlightenment Society held a seminar under the title "Nairuz is a national day for all Egyptians. Intellectual Bayoumi Qandil explained that nairuz originated from the Coptic word T-yarou meaning rivers, since the New Year date coincides with the fullness of the annual inundation of the River Nile. The word later metamorphosed into the Persian nairuz meaning new day.  (from St-Takla.org

Qandil said it was Egypts largely illiterate rural community which preserved the Coptic calendar, since it is very closely connected to their agricultural activity. Arabic or Latin months mean nothing to them, but Tout is the full inundation, Hatour is the month of sowing, Kiyahk is the mid-winter month with the shortest days, Amsheer comes in with its famous windstorms, and Baouna with its oppressive summer heat. Popular quotes describe each month in a short jiggle rhyme. Each month is also famous for a specific produce. Egyptians talk of Hatour bananas, Baounas honey, Misra grapes, or Kiyahk fish.

Qandil stressed the fact that we need to hold on to our authentic Egyptian heritage in order to counterbalance the onslaught of incoming Wahhabi culture.

Another NGO, the Egyptian Citizenship Home, called for reviving the Nairuz as a feast for all Egyptians. In a Coptic New Year commemoration, University professor and supervisor at the Supreme Council of Culture Emad Abu-Ghazi talked of the manner in which Egyptians, men and women, celebrated the New Year in river and garden festivals of song and dance.

Ishaq Ibrahim

 

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Other Nairouz articles:

The Feast of Nairuz I | Happy New Coptic Year | The Feast of Nayroz II | Feast of the Nayrouz to the Cross

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