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PHOTO GALLERY: Ramadan lanterns adorn Cairo's streets



A man handcrafts Ramadan lanterns in a Sayeda Zeinab workshop (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Shops display a collection of Ramadan lanterns in Al-Hussein neighbourhood (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Imported mass-produced Ramadan lanterns include figurines of Egypt's El-Sisi (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
A seller sitting beside Ramadan lanterns in Al-Azhar neighbourhood (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
A boy makes Ramadan lanterns in a Sayyida Zeinab workshop (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Two women choose Fanous Ramadan in El-Hussein neighbourhood (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Shops display Fawanees Ramadan in El-Azhar neighbourhood (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Craftsmen makes Ramadan lanterns by hand in Sayyida Zeinab workshop (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Ramadan lanterns for sale on Cairo's streets (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Mass-produced Ramadan merchandise in Cairo's streets (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Ramadan lanterns for sale on Cairo's streets (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
A girl chooses Fanous Ramadan in Sayyida Zeinab (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Shops display Ramadan lanterns in El-Hussein neighbourhood (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Ramadan lantern after manufacturing in Sayyida Zeinab workshop (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
A child watching Ramadan lanterns in Downtown Cairo (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
A seller sitting beside Ramadan lanterns in El-Hussein neighbourhood (Photo: Mai Shaheen
Handmade Ramadan lanterns (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Ramadan lanterns in El-Hussein neighbourhood (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Ramadan lanterns in El-Azhar neighbourhood (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Different forms of Ramadan lanterns in Cairo's streets (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
A boy sitting beside Ramadan lanterns in El-Hussein neighbourhood (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Two young men make Ramadan lanterns in Sayyida Zeinab workshop (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Ramadan lanterns in Al-Azhar neighbourhood (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Ramadan lantern in the form of the President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi in Cairo's streets
Cairo shop with lanterns for the celebration by the holy month of Ramadan (Photo: Mai Shaheen
Egyptians buy Ramadan lanterns (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
A man makes Ramadan lanterns by hand in Sayyida Zeinab workshop (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Different forms of Ramadan lanterns in Cairo's streets (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
Handmade Ramadan lanterns in El-Hussein neighbourhood (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

According to historical accounts, the tradition of using lanterns as a decoration in Ramadan originated during the Fatimid Caliphate, primarily centred in Egypt, where Caliph Al-Muez Li-Din Allah was greeted by people carrying lanterns to celebrate his rule.

From that time, lanterns were used to light mosques, houses and streets throughout the capital city of Cairo, with people's homes adorned with stars and crescents, along with colours, during the Islamic holy month.

Ramadan lanterns come in many forms, from classic to modern, with the former manufactured in workshops by Egyptian craftsmen, and the latter now commonly imported from China.

Today, it is children who are most associated with going to the streets with beautiful and brightly coloured lanterns after the sunset prayer.

All photos by Mai Shaheen