- Posted August 10, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your favorite Eid traditions
Cairo Celebrates Eid
Egypt makes Eid a really big deal. It's a 3 day long celebration here. There are events in many places, especially public parks. Neighborhoods bring in small carnival rides for kids, and teens or families go to watch shows like the Sufi dancing shown in these photos taken at Al Azhar park.
Al Azhar park is particularly amazing because it is built next to the oldest part of Cairo on what was the city dump for over 500 years. In 2005 it was reclaimed as a public park. There are now hibiscus, citrus trees, date palms and more. Families throng to the park, particularly during holidays, to picnic and enjoy some much needed greenery in a city of over 9 million people. Because it is on a hillside it has wonderful views across the city, and it's worth waiting for sunset after the entertainment.
The pictures begin with views of families enjoying the park on the hillside and under date palms. One man climbed the palm tree and began tossing dates down to kids.
Because it is a fabulously popular public space, they put on shows during holidays. The photos from the performance show Sufi dancers. Sufis are a type of Muslim who often use music or dance to worship God and meditate on the names of Allah (the word for "God" in Arabic).
These dancers begin turning and don't stop throughout the performance; this is why in Turkey and elsewhere Sufis are called whirling dervishes. They wear 2 brightly colored skirts in the performance; when the music gets fast they all remove the first layer and dance with it in they hands and over their heads. Then the last layer. The whole show takes about 40 minutes and includes a Sheikh who sings accompanied by drummers and flute players.
It is a wonderful sight to see, particularly during the celebration of Eid.