Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On Palm Sunday

On the way home from a meeting in Giza on Sunday we passed through Faisal Street to pick up dog food supplies for the pack of hounds here. I haven't been paying attention to the calendar lately and was surprised to see people walking along carrying palm branches. I explained the tradition of Palm Sunday to Mohamed who isn't really up on his biblical traditions and Christian holidays. We have both the Coptic and the Western Easter falling on the same day this year (not a common phenomenon at all) with Shem el Nessim coming on Monday. Shem el Nessim was a pharaonic celebration of the spring equinox that predates Easter by about 3 thousand years and the traditions are very similar.


Paddi Sprecher said...

you mean even the ancient Egyptians bought crappy bunnies at Walmart and hid little foil wrapped eggs???
Heck wait until Christmas this year. A great celebration of tacky decorations.
Miss you

Adira said...

Been enjoying your blog, but pretty much a lurker here.

I believe I've read somewhere that the Egyptian Copts were among the first Christians and are also closer to the Ancient Egyptians (DNA-wise) than the Egyptian Arabs.

Do you know if it's true about being closer, genetically, to the Ancient Egyptians?

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

I don't know that any studies have been done, or if they even would mean anything. The ancient Egyptians were also very much a genetic soup since there was so much trade, travel and conquest in the area.

The Copts were among the first Christians and one of the first churches to decide to go it alone, as it were. The liturgical language does have ties to pharoanic Egyptian.

vagabondblogger said...

Eastern (Orthodox) Easter and Western do not fall together, all that much, i.e. it's really not that "common". Eastern (Orthodox) Easter is based on the moon, just as Seder and Passover (and Islamic Holidays), whereas Western Easter is not - it's been revised, and can sometimes fall well before Passover.

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

We quite like having the Western and Orthodox Easters on different days. That way we get more holidays...THREE Easters.

vagabondblogger said...

My kids got two and so did I, so it was a bonanza for all of us!

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