Against all odds, Egypt's multilayered culture and deep-rooted diversity and respect enabled us to celebrate the birth of both prophets side by side in the same week. A sign?
With Prophet Muhammed's birthday falling this year on 3 January and Coptic Christmas on 7 January, this year's online greetings pictured the famous moulid doll in the shape of a Christmas tree.
The traditional celebrations go back all the way to the Fatimids who ruled Egypt from 968 A.D. Known for their sweet tooth and high sense of occasion the Fatimids’ official state festivals included lots of sugary sweets in various forms, including a special candy doll for girls and candy horses for boys.
As for Christmas, the different dates of the celebration (25 December and January 7) are a result of a change in calendar; while Western churches follow the Gregorian calendar, Orthodox churches continue to follow the older Julian calendar (named after Julius Caesar who introduced it in 46 BC).
Under the Julian calendar, the date of 25 December and 29 Kiahk in the Coptic calendar happened on the same day each year. But the introduction of the Gregorian calendar changed this alignment.
We wish you a Merry Moulid and a happy new year.