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Egypt has a rich history and culture dating back thousands of years, starting with the Pharaonic culture, then Christianity. Our guide to Egyptian culture and customs will help you navigate all the fascinating aspects of Egypt and fit right in with the locals on your next trip. 

 Customs and traditions in Egypt

From traditional clothing to food and drink, there are many customs and traditions that make Egypt unique. Egyptians are very proud of their heritage and take great care to preserve their customs and traditions.

Those who want wealth and prosperity to come to their house, then bury a weasel at the doorstep. Some Egyptians believe that burying a weasel at the doorstep will bring good luck and fortune into the household. Others say that it is bad luck to do so, as it will bring disease and death into the home.

One main distinction between traditional, usually rural, and urban middle-class eating habits concerns the seating and service of food. In villages, people sit on mats or low tables on the

The importance of family

In Egypt, the family is the foundational and basic social unit that fosters the stability, well-being and sustainability of society. The quality of family relationships is very important for Egyptians so they pay special attention to family values and relationships. Many generations of Egyptians live together in one family unit and children, typically boys, of the family live with their grandparents. 

An aspect of ancient Egyptian culture and religious beliefs that strikes a resonant chord with Latter-day Saints is the great importance they placed on families. Those visiting an Egyptian family should remember to drink all of their juice—especially if the family has daughters. It is a sign of respect.


The customs and traditions of the Egyptian people are largely based on their religious beliefs. Islam is the main religion practiced in Egypt, and as such, many of the customs and traditions revolve around this faith. It is considered impolite to point the toe, heel or any part of the foot toward another person, as this is seen as a sign of disrespect. 

Places of worship are considered sacred places for Egyptians and therefore tourists from abroad should respect the serious mentality about these places. The official religion is Islam and a large majority of Egyptians are practicing Sunni Muslims. There is a minority presence of fundamentalists who adhere to a stricter interpretation of the Quran. In Egypt, everyday expressions of the Islamic religion tend to be through dress, dietary codes, regular prayer and frequent references to Allah's (God's) will.

Gender roles

In Egyptian culture, the separation of gender roles is not merely a social custom, but has a theological basis. Ancient Egyptians believed that women and men were firmly equal. 

This principle was reflected in their daily lives and in their religion. Women could have their own businesses, own and sell property, and serve as witnesses in court cases. They also played an important role in many aspects of daily life and religion. Traditional gender roles in Egypt are thus based on principles of equality and respect for women.


In Egypt, marriage is a union of two families, and is reflected in the customs and traditions associated with it. The Zaffa, for example, is a dance performed at weddings which symbolizes the coming together of the two families.

 The kosha is another tradition whereby the groom's mother gifts the bride with a dowry. And finally, the shabka is a gold necklace that the groom gives to the bride as a symbol of his love and commitment.