For a week now, Egyptians have been making preparations for Eid al-Fitr
Retailers are showcasing their latest merchandise -- in particular children's clothing -- and stores bustle with shoppers buying Eid sweets. Jewellers, meanwhile, say they continue to wait for sales to increase after a lull in the market during the month of Ramadan.
Traditional Egyptian Eid rituals begin with prayers in the mosque and a trip to the cemetery so family members can pay respects to their deceased.
The family will then gather around the table for lunch at the house of the father or the older brother, with the children waiting to be given their Eid money.
Some families prefer to go out for their Eid meal and then stroll through gardens or along the Nile. Wahid Abdo, a 45-year-old father of four, however, said he prefers to celebrate the first day of Eid at home with his family.
On the second and third days of Eid, he goes out. "I usually watch a film in the cinema with my children as well as [take] the traditional boat excursion on the Nile," Abdo told Al-Shorfa.
Tamim Hamouda, who owns a clothes shop in central Cairo, told Al-Shorfa the Eid season could not arrive soon enough for shop owners because of the recent slump.
"Sales have gone up during the last week of Ramadan by 25% because of Eid al-Fitr," he said.
Around this time, most business owners offer sales of between 30-50% to attract consumers and get rid of their summer stock before releasing their winter collections, Hamouda said. This is especially true this Eid, he added, as it coincides with the back-to-school season which might force families to cut back on Eid spending.
Shop owner Sayid Qablan, who makes and sells sweets and baked goods, said the price of Eid cookies has increased slightly this year.
"The price per kilo for Eid cookies ranges between 25-60 Egyptian pounds ($4-$10), while normal cookies are [priced] between 25-45 Egyptian pounds ($4-$7)," he said. "Ghuraiba cookies are priced between 40-50 Egyptian pounds ($7-$8) and the price per kilo of Petit Fours is 50-60 Egyptian pounds ($8-$10)."
Qablan said his good turnout this year can probably be attributed to price stability.
This year, the costs of basic ingredients like ghee, flour, eggs, milk and sugar increased by no more than 10% and gas was readily available for sweets factories like his because additional amounts were provided before Eid al-Fitr, he said.
"Most Egyptian families, especially in Cairo, rely on store-bought Eid cookies instead of homemade [cookies] to save money, time and effort. You can now buy most types of well-known cookies suited to every taste from stores," Qablan said.
Gold merchant Tony Magdy told Al-Shorfa that every year -- after very few sales during the first weeks of Ramadan -- business improves in the last week of the month and during Eid al-Fitr.
Engagements and wedding ceremonies abound while some well-off families have a tradition of buying gold jewellery for Eid, he said.
"I expect a high increase in sales during this period, especially since gold prices have not changed much recently, reflecting the stability in international gold markets," he told Al-Shorfa.