I am a big enthusiast for cultural and religious celebrations. No matter if it is something that I believe in or ‘should’ take part in myself, I feel that there is no better time than a cultural or religious holiday to experience delicious food, listen to good music, see beautiful decorations and interact with excited people.

Festivities and celebrations are the happiest of times, but we don’t celebrate enough of them! Sometimes, we even view them with suspicion instead of curiosity and excitement. But why should this be, when celebrations are a time for people to come together?

This month, I am going to sporadically share some pictures of Ramadan that are guaranteed to make you feel curious and excited, no matter if you part-take in the celebrations or not. The pictures will be of country-specific traditions related to the festivities. The theme: celebration.

And where better to begin than…

Ah yes. Egypt. The country of the fanoos.

I have rarely seen more beautiful lanterns than those that are made and lit for Ramadan in Egypt.

Via Flickr: Marwa Morgan

The lantern, fanoos, is typically made from colored glass and recycled cans, or other thin metal pieces. The glass is usually of bright colors, and may be decorated with texts or images.

Via Flickr: Marwa Morgan.

The traditional handicraft is becoming increasingly less common, but these sources of light remain a cherished part of Ramadan in Egypt, and even widely across the globe. During Ramadan, they can be found decorating and lighting up the houses and streets of those celebrating. Beside their obvious decorative function, these lanterns also represent something more to many Egyptians: nostalgic memories of childhood, and a colorful past.

Via Flickr: Mohd Tarmizi

I only wish that I could be in Egypt during Ramadan to celebrate and see the lights around the streets.

Egyptians in Stockholm, please put some up for me?