In short

Sham Ennessim (Arabic: شم النسيم‎) is an Egyptian national holiday marking the beginning of spring, as it originates from the ancient Egyptian holiday

Sham Ennessim

Sham Ennessim, harvest season

Sham Ennessim was first celebrated by the Egyptians in the Pharaonic era (around 2700 BC) and they continued to celebrate it in the Ptolemaic era, the Roman era, the medieval times and up to the present day. According to records written by Plutarch in the 1st century CE, the ancient Egyptians offered salted fish, lettuce, and onions to their deities during the spring festival known as Shemu. 

Shemu (Ancient Egyptian: šmw) provides the etymology of the Coptic name "ϣⲱⲙ (ⲛ̀ⲛⲓⲥⲓⲙ) Shom (Ennisim)", and through the phono-semantic reanalysis of "En-ni-sim" as the Egyptian Arabic form of the article defined assimilated “En-” and “nesim”, “Shom Ennisim” became “Sham Ennesim”.

The festival is celebrated nationally by all Egyptians since ancient times, as it is considered a national festival in Egypt. Its history dates back to the time of ancient Egypt, as it was linked to the agricultural environment of the ancient Egyptians, originally from Shemu. Sham Ennessim is a public holiday in modern Egypt.

The main characteristics of the festival are:

  • People spend the whole day picnicking in any green space, public gardens, on the Nile or at the zoo.
  • The traditional food eaten on this day mainly consists of fesikh (a fermented, salted and dried mullet), lettuce, scallions or scallions and lupine beans.
  • Color boiled eggs, then eat and offer them.

On this day, modern Egyptians say lettuce represents hope at the beginning of spring. Eggs are used to represent the renewal of life in the spring season. People dye eggs different colors in a tradition that dates back to the ancient Egyptians who were probably the first to introduce the practice. Salted fish represents fertility and well-being.

Social networks

Today Egyptians celebrate Sham Ennessim. From Ancient Egypt Shemu, the harvest and low water festival. Nowadays, the inhabitants take the opportunity to picnic and draw on eggs to offer them. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #shemu #shamennessim #egypt


Sham Ennessim