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Tanta, Egypt

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A bustling industrial city with strong rural ties, TANTA marks the end of the cotton harvest in October with Egypt's largest festival, the Moulid of Saiyid Ahmed el-Bedawi. Tanta's population jumps from 250,000 to nearly three million as visitors pour in from the Delta villages, other parts of Egypt and the Arab world. Streets and squares fill with tents and stalls; Sufis prepare for zikrs, while musicians test their amps ("Allah, two, three"). Thousands camp out amid heaps of blankets and cooking pots, though sleep seems impossible. With music and chanting, vendors and devotees, a circus …
Information by Rough Guides

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