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Ancient Egyptian Calendar

In ancient Egypt, the Calendar was a civil/solar one consisting of 360 days (12 Months), plus an addition of a thirteenth month of 5 days treated as outside of the year proper but a completion of the cycle (where they believed their great-gods were born in). the 12 months were grouped in three seasons of 120 days each, in turn each season was divided into 30 days. Each month was divided into three weeks of 10 days each known as decans. During the 19th and the 20th dynasties the last two days of each decan were usually treated as kind of week-end (records from Deir IL Medina/The Royal Necropolis craftsmen’ Village).

The civil calendar ran concurrently with another calendar, the Lunar Calendar, intended and used mainly for some particular religious rituals and festivals.

Coptic calendar

The Coptic calendar is surely the oldest calendar system that is still in widespread use. It has its roots in the ancient Egyptian calendar, whose earliest documented operation dates back to the beginning of the 3rd millennium BCE. However, it has undergone a number of reforms through the centuries, attaining its current form in 25 BCE.  

The Coptic calendar year like its ancient Egyptian counterpart is divided into 13 months. The first 12 months each of 30 days. While The last month, called “Nasie” (epagomenal days) and referred to as an epagomenal month, has 5 days in a common year and 6 days in a leap year.

The Coptic calendar began on (August 29, 284 in the Julian calendar) which corresponds the day of the ascension of Emperor Diocletian on the throne of Roman Empire,  just to commemorate the widespread persecution of Alexandrians (Egyptians) Christians during his reign, and came to be known as Year of the Martyrs, hence the calendar itself is known as the calendar of the Martyrs.

Months in the Coptic Calendar

Months Days
Tout / Thoth 30
Paopi / Babeh 30
Hathor / Hatour 30
Koiak / Kiak 30
Tobi / Ṭobah 30
Meshr / Amsheer 30
Paremhat / Baramhat 30
Parmouti / Barmodah 30
Pashons / Baschans 30
Paoni / Ba-ounah 30
Epip / Abeeb 30
Mesori / Masrah 30
Pi Kogi (last not counted/ Nasei 5 or 6


Islamic Calendar (Known as Hijri Calendar)

The Islamic calendar, which is also known as Hijri calendar, is originally lunar one. It began right after the Hijrah (migration) of Prophet Mohammed (P.B.U.H = Peace Be Upon Him) from Mecca to Medinah. The beginning of each month

The Islamic calendar 2022 is based on the moon. Also known as the Hijri Calendar 1443, it started after the Hijrah of the Prophet (PBUH) to Madina. The beginning of each month is conditional on the visibility of the moon (actually the born Crescent in the sky) at the end of the previous month. Once the moon (The Crescent) is sighted, the new month automatically begins. Each month starts with a new lunar cycle. Hence, the Muslim Calendar gives only a tentative overview of the upcoming Islamic dates as the start of each month is subject to the sighting of the moon.

It consists of 12 months similar to the Gregorian calendar. However, it is shorter by some 10-11 days, as it consists of 354-355 days. The Islamic New Year starts off with the month of AL-Muharram.

Islamic Months

Month Significance to Muslims
AL-Muharram The Month of ALLAH
Safar The Month of Distinction
Rabii AL-Awal In which the Prophet was born
Rabii AL-Thany
Jumada AL-Awal
Jumada AL-Thany
Ragab Start of the holiest Months
Shaabaan Its 15th night/Mid Month is A Holy one
Ramadan Glorious Month of fasting
Shawaal Starts with 3 Days feast/The Reward
Dhu-AL-Qaadah A sacred month
Dhu-AL-Hijjah The month of the best 10 days of Hajj


Of the 12 Months, there are four are sacred, waging war was completely illicit/prohibitive, they are respectively, Dhu AL-Qaadah, Dhu AL-Hijjah (the last two months), Muharram (the first month) and Ragab (the fourth month).

The Holy Month of Ramadan

It is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar and the month known as the month of AL-Sawm (Fasting). Like all months of The Islamic Calendar it begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon. This month of special spiritual nature, celebrated joyously in the Islamic World. But in fact it has a special, unprecedented Characteristic in Egypt. Because the Islamic Calendar year is shorter than the Gregorian as mentioned above, Ramadan begins some 10-12 days earlier each year.

Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islamic faith, (fasting during daytime – from dawn to sunset), is a time for Muslims to curb souls needs (The obligation is no food, drink, sexual activity, and all forms of immoral behavior from dawn to sunset.

(N.B: Immoral behavior is refrained all time (should) according to the Religion’ Law.

After the sunset prayer, people (almost all) gather in their homes (some in restaurants, or some men in mosques) to break their fast with a well-prepared meal called “Ifftar”, often shared with friends and extended family. Nearly one and half hour later is the time of the principal prayers (particular for the month) known as Taraweeh “takes mostly one hour and is preferred to be in congregation at the mosque. To accommodate such acts of worship from fasting during daytime and saying the Taraweeh prayers in the evening, in most (if not all) Muslim Countries, working hours are reduced.

The end of Ramadan Fast (after the 30th or sometimes in short month, after the 29th day of the Holy Month, it is celebrated the three day “Eid IL-Fitr”  – (The Feast of Fast-Breaking), which is one of the two major holidays of the Islamic Calendar (The other is called “Eid IL-Adhah” occurs in the tenth day of the month of Dhu IL-Hijja (the last month of the Calendar), marks the Pilgrimage to Mecca (once a life is enough for whom afford).

Holidays and Observances in Egypt 

Date   Name Type
6 Jan Day off for Coptic Christmas Day
7 Jan Coptic Christmas Day National holiday
25 Jan Revolution Day / Police F.Day National holiday
Coptic Good Friday Observance
Coptic Holy Saturday Observance
Coptic Easter Sunday Observance
Spring Festival/Sham IL Nessim National holiday
25 Apr Sinai Liberation Day National holiday
Eid el Fitr –after Ramadan’s Last Day

A 3 days feast.

(According to Islamic Calendar)

National holiday
1 May Labor Day National holiday
30 Jun Thursday June 30 Revolution National holiday
Arafat Day (Hajj 9th Day

of the last month of the Islamic Calendar)

National holiday
Eid al-Adha (4 days feast)

According to Islamic Calendar)

National holiday
23 Jul Revolution Day July 23 National holiday
Muharram (Islamic-New Year day) National holiday
15 Aug Feast of Flooding of the Nile Observance
6 Oct Armed Forces Day National holiday