Egyptian authorities have bolstered security across the country ahead of Easter Sunday and Sham El-Nessim celebrations, Sunday and Monday respectively.
Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II thanked the police and interior ministry officials for their efforts to secure Easter prayers, which took place in churches nationwide Saturday.
Egyptians are celebrating the Coptic Easter on Sunday and Sham El-Nessim spring festival on Monday.
Egyptians mark the Sham El-Nessim holiday with traditional seafood dishes and picnics in public parks.
Celebrated since 2,700 BC by all Egyptians, regardless of religion, belief and social status, the name Sham El-Nessim (Inhaling the breeze) is derived from the Coptic language, which in turn is derived from the ancient Egyptian language.
Sham El-Nessim was originally pronounced Tshom Ni Sime, with tshom meaning “gardens” and ni sime meaning “meadows”.
The holiday always falls on the day after Easter Sunday in the Coptic Christian calendar.
Egyptians typically eat a meal of pickled mullet fish, known as fesikh, marinated in vinegar for up one year prior to consumption, and salted herrings.