The Coptic Christian festival of Palm Sunday, which commemorates the biblical story of Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem is commonly celebrated amongst Copts all over Egypt as well as in the diaspora. For centuries, Coptic families gathered on the eve of Palm Sunday at homes to weave palm fronds into various shapes (Crosses, colts, purses, crowns, rings, bracelets…etc.). On the week preceding Palm Sunday, sidewalks around most Coptic churches in major Egyptian cities and urban centers are usually occupied by palm frond vendors who set their tents and stalls to sell both raw branches and finalized crafts to the celebrating congregations.

With this project, we aim to provide thick documentation of the different processes which shape the production of this cultural heritage. This includes mapping out the process from the collection of palm fronds, transportation to urban centers, distribution to local vendors. However, the main focus revolves around documenting and illustrating the tacit knowledge that shapes the practice of weaving and crafting of these products.


Primary Applicant:
Christine Samy Habib

John Hanna

Location of Research:
Greater Cairo Area

Host Institution:
Leeds Trinity University


Top Banner Image: Weaving Palm Fronds for Palm Sunday, 2023 (Photo: John Hanna)