The Egyptian Gazette website was not updated all last week, but the Saturday version, the Egyptian Mail, is back up and running on the Gazette website. Today it has a brief piece about Shem el-Nessim, the start of Spring: "Since Ancient Egyptian times, Shem el-Nessim has traditionally marked the start of spring. The festival is derived from the word shamo, meaning 'season of harvest' in the Ancient Egyptian language. On this day, the Pharaohs celebrated the god Osiris coming back to life. His brother Seth had killed him and it was the goddess Isis who brought him back to life, so this feast on the first day of spring reminds us of resurrection and eternity.In keeping with tradition, Egyptians always spend Shem el-Nessim out of doors, in gardens and public parks, eating salted fish, onions, lettuce and coloured eggs. Salted fish is a natural antibiotic against the cold, but these days people only tend to eat it on the first day of spring.Ancient Egyptians offered salted fish and onions as an immolation at Shem el-Nessim. Fish, symbolising fertility, and lettuce were both characteristics of spring."