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This Day in History : Shamm Annaseem Posted by on Apr 25, 2011 in Arabic Language, Culture, Vocabulary

Shamm Annaseem (or the Smelling of the Zephyr) شم النسيم  

        It is a national holiday أجازة قومية celebrating the advent of spring الربيع. The day is still  celebrated in many countries around the world in different ways. The celebration can be traced back to the time of the Ancient Egyptians who celebrated the harvest season موسم الحصاد. It was known as the Shemu Feast عيد شموس which means the Day of Creation يوم الخلق  or Renewal of Life تجديد الحياة . They thought that day to be the first day of creation. The Ancient Egyptians first celebrated the Shemu Feast in 2700 BC  towards the end of the Third Dynasty. It was a formal public festival where the kings الملوك and high class people participated with the public عامة الناس  to celebrate the weather change to spring time. In this day, the day time is equal to the night time. The date of the day is changeable every year depending on the moon cycle.

The day coincided with the day in which the  Jews اليهود  escaped from Ancient Egypt after they were chased by the Egyptian Pharaoh of that time, so they celebrated it as a day of thanksgiving to God. The Jews named the day as The Passover Day or the Jewish Easter عيد الفصح

The day also, coincided with the Christian day celebrating the resurrection of Christ after He was crucified. The Christians المسيحيون named it as Easter Day or Resurrection Day عيد القيامة   because they believe Christ has risen from the dead on that day.

Traditional Ways of Celebrating the Day:

     Celebrating the Spring turns to a public festival. People go out to enjoy the fresh air. They visit parks, zoos and the countryside. There are special Egyptian foods that mark the day;

* Fiseekh الفسيخ (or salted fish):

The ancient Egyptians liked to eat salted fish at certain occasions and festivals. Salt is used as a way to dry fish and preserve it. There are no additives used and the whole process is done by hand up till today.

* Eggs البيض :

The Ancient Egyptians used to dye eggs in different colours and hung it in temples as emblems of renewal of life.

* Green Onion البصل الأخضر (scallions):

It is dated back to the time of the Ancient Egyptians’ habits and legends.

* Lettuce الخس :

It represents the feeling of hopefulness and a sign of spring. To the Ancient Egyptians, it symbolized fertility.

* Hummus الحمص (or chickpeas):

The Ancient Egyptians considered it a sign of the advent of spring.

 

 

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Peace سلام   /Salam/

The article is adapted and translated from wikipedia. 

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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL.


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