Everything you need to know about Coptic Christmas

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Updated 06 January 2019

Everything you need to know about Coptic Christmas

While the rest of the Christian world has recently celebrated Christmas, Jan. 7 is the day Coptic Christians mark the birth of Jesus Christ, according to the Orthodox calendar.
It’s marked in Egypt
Over 10 million Christians reside in Egypt, which makes up 10 percent of the country’s entire population. Most of them are Orthodox Copts, the largest Christian population in the Middle East.
Jan. 7 is the day
Unlike Dec. 25, Coptic Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on Jan. 7, following the Coptic calendar. This is the same for other Orthodox Christians in places like Russia and Serbia.
Baba Noel is Santa
Children patiently wait for Baba Noel (Father Christmas), the Copts’ own version of Santa Claus. Stories have it that Baba Noel finds his way through windows and leaves some gifts, often in exchange of an Egyptian treat called “Kahk.”
There is fasting…
In the run-up to Christmas day, Coptic Christians fast for 43 days, avoiding food products that come from animals. The fasting period starts Nov. 25 and lasts until the day before Christmas.
… and singing
The month before Christmas is called Kiahk, the fourth month in the Coptic calendar where Copts sing special songs of praise or “Kiahk tunes” on Saturday evenings. The month plays a significant role in Copts’ preparation for Christmas.
… and feasting
After the Christmas service on the eve of Jan. 7, Copts break their fast with a feast of meat. A favorite Coptic dish during Christmas is called “fatta,” which consists of rice, bread, and boiled lamb or beef.


George and Amal Clooney to donate $100,000 to Lebanese charities

Updated 07 August 2020

George and Amal Clooney to donate $100,000 to Lebanese charities

DUBAI: American actor George Clooney and his wife, Lebanese-British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, are donating $100,000 to Lebanese charities helping those left homeless by the deadly explosion in Beirut.

The blast, which broke though the capital city on Aug. 4, has killed at least 137 people and injured thousands.

According to Variety, the couple said: “We’re both deeply concerned for the people of Beirut and the devastation they’ve faced in the last few days.”

“Three charitable organizations we’ve found are providing essential relief on the ground: the Lebanese Red Cross, Impact Lebanon, and Baytna Baytak. We will be donating to these three $100,000 and hope that others will help in any way they can,” they added.

Other celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, DJ Khaled, and singer Dua Lipa, have been taking to social media to show their support for victims, and online influencers around the world have been urging their followers to make donations toward rescue and recovery work.