Al Fanous

Al Fanous

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The lantern, or as it is called in Arabic “Al Fanous” is one of the most famous symbols of the month of Ramadan. It is an essential aspect of the celebration of the holy month. It has become an established tradition in the Egyptian culture. 

The streets and houses are decorated throughout the month of Ramadan with lanterns of all sizes. But what is the origin of the lantern?

The origin of the word can be traced back to the Greek language, which means a mean of lighting, and in some languages ​​called (Finas), which means showing the walker in the dark. But if we return to the origin of its use especially in the month of Ramadan, we will find many related stories, including:

When the Fatimid caliph came out to explore the crescent of Ramadan, he would bring children lanterns to light the way for him and sing the songs with joy, to welcome the holy month of Ramadan. Another story, that one of the Fatimid Caliphs ordered the elders of the mosques to suspend the lanterns on each mosque, lighting them with candles to illuminate the streets of Cairo throughout Ramadan nights.

There is another story that children used lighten the way for women to walk the streets in Ramadan to the mosque. When women went out to pray, they were preceded by a boy carrying a lantern. The habit continued and children still roam the streets carrying lanterns and singing songs during the month of Ramadan.

It is worth mentioning that the first to use the lantern in Ramadan were Egyptians, when men, women and children came to receive the Fatimid Caliph from the west carrying colored lanterns on the fifth day of Ramadan in 358 A.H. 

The lantern became a habit rooted in Egyptian culture and moved from Egypt to Most Arab countries to become a distinctive tradition of the month of Ramadan. 

As the times evolve, the shape and structure of the lantern evolves, turning from the lamp that is lit by the candles to the lamp, which is lit with colored bulbs, and it comes in many forms and colors. The lantern will remain a symbol of joy and happiness for children and adults, and a manifestation of Ramadan.


Al Fanous  , The lantern    , Ramadan , Fatimid caliphate         ,month , Fatimid Caliph ,

Crescent   , Mosque,          Egyptian Culture ,     Praying ,candle ,        lamp ,


On which day of Ramadan did the Egyptians welcomed the Fatimid Caliphate with colored lanterns?

  1. the sixth day
  2. First day
  3. The fifth day
  4. the third day

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