Monday 25 April marks Sham El-Nasim, in the same breath as Easter. The rituals and beliefs associated with today’s Sham El-Nasim celebrations link it directly to ancient Egyptian feasts.
Celebrated since 2700 BC by all Egyptians regardless of their religion, beliefs, and social status, the name Sham El-Nasim (Inhaling the breeze) is derived from the Coptic language that, in turn, is derived from the ancient Egyptian language. Originally pronounced Tshom Ni Sime, with tshom meaning “gardens” and ni sime meaning “meadows.”
Like most ancient Egyptian feasts, Sham El-Nasim was also affiliated with astronomy and nature. It marks the beginning of the spring festival, which is the time they believed day and night are equal, (when the sun is in the Aries zodiac) hence marking the beginning of creation. They confirm the exact date annually by sighting the sun in relation to the great pyramid. Ancient Egyptians named it The Feast of Shmo (the revival of life) and have officially celebrated it since 2700BC.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
A very ancient Egyptian Easter: Sham El-Nasim