Coptic Church · History & Tradition

Happy Coptic New Year!

The Coptic New Year is the very first calendar ever known by man on planet earth! It goes back 4241 BC.The word “Nayrouz” is of Coptic origin. The stem is niiaro-oo meaning: “the rivers.” The suffix “ouz” is Greek, thus, the word “Niiaroouz.”

Mid September is usually where the waters of the Nile river rises, so the prayers are lifted to God for the rising of the waters of the rivers for irrigation and ask for His blessings at the beginning (crown) of the Coptic Calendar year.

When the Persian ruled Egypt from 525-405 BC, they adopted the word and incorporated it in their language and took it to mean “the beginning of their Persian year,” and called it “Nayrouz.” The word “Nayrouz” in Persian, means “the new year.”

On celebrating this feast three things are stirred in our minds.

– Honouring the millions of martyrs who sacrificed their lives as sacrifices of love for our Lord who sacrificed Himself on our behalf.

– Joyfully celebrating the beginning of the Coptic New Year.

– Expressing of our flamed eager for the last advent of Christ. Through the last two weeks before the feast the readings of the liturgies of the Eucharist concentrate of the Parousia of Christ.

I leave you with this wonderful prayer!

O Lord, grant us to celebrate El-Nayrouz,

So that we may ask for a blessed year for all mankind.

And that every believer has the experience of Your marvelous Day.

Thus, all will enjoy the brightness of Your glory.

Yes, Come quickly O Lord Jesus.

Our hearts are enflamed with Your love.

Our hearts ask for none except You.

Let me, O God, celebrate the Feast of El-Nayrouz unceasingly.

Let me experience this joyful gospel, the gospel of everlasting unity with You.

Wondrous is the Son who paid the price of my trip to Your divine bosoms,

And Your Holy Spirit who forms me to become a heavenly bride,

Carrying me as if with the wings of a dove that heaven may celebrate my wedding!

 I see You my beloved Christ, coming to me personally,

You have chosen me to share in Your glory,

You offered Yourself, a joyful sacrifice of love.

Grant me to become an icon of You,

With a big heart, full of love to all humans,

That, I may become a source of joy to everyone.

Your dwelling in me, O Holy Spirit renews my nature,

He transforms my dark tomb into a holy sanctuary,

He converts my darkness into exceeding brightness!

Grant me with all my brethren, to fly and be with You in heaven!

Let me celebrate the feast of the martyrs as fit, that I may practice witnessing for You.

Change my life to be full of joy with You, even at the moments of my daily repentance.

You see me my Lord rejoicing in You, and You become delighted in me.

The heavenly angels see me coming to You, and they welcome me.

They receive me with exceeding joy to join them in praising You.

The sinners see me full of joy, and they get filled with hope.

They see me rejoicing, and they join me in my continuous repentance.

The prophets and the apostles and all the martyrs see me.

And they praise You for letting me accompany them in Your kingdom!

What a wonderful thing, You delight in me,

And so do all Your creation, in heaven and on earth!

But the devil runs away in front of me

As he sees Your divine joy enlightens me and shines upon my face!

Glory is to You, the source of joy and victory.

Grant me O Lord that I may celebrate the feast of the martyrs all my life,

That, I may witness to Your joyful gospel,

That, I may always be in touch with Your tremendous fatherly love,

I see You anticipating with longing for me too

Fr Tadros Malaty

5 thoughts on “Happy Coptic New Year!

  1. Cool! So the year was set to be the first year when Diocletian died, but the calendar had been around long before then?

  2. This is correct

    As with many feasts of the church, the church linked festivals of culture and pagan worship with liturgical and historical events of importance together.

    The Feast of the Nayrouz is such an example.

  3. hi bishoy happy new year may it be filled with blessing, will u plz tell us whats the traditions to celebrate the occation. Regards.

  4. Hey Dalia,

    Sorry for the Late Reply

    Im not sure whether your are talking about liturgical or social traditions.

    In regards to the liturgical traditions. The church hymns take on a joyful nature and mainly focus on the following verse since the New Year was when the river nile flooded and the plantation of crops occured.

    “Bless the Crown of the Year with your goodness, The rivers, the springs, the plants, and the crops”

    Many Churches also celebrate with a midnight mass to welcome the new year.

    In regards to social traditions, red dates are exchanged between copts.

    Red Dates are symbolic of the martyrs which is the event the church has linked with the Coptic New Year.

    The outer red shell represents the blood that was shed for the name of Christ by the martyrs.

    The inner white fruit, symbolises the purity of the martyrs.

    The seed is symbolic of their faith, strong and steadfast.

    I hope this answers your question, if you have something else in particular that you were seeking an answer to please ask and ill do my best to help you out.

    God Bless

    Happy New Year


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