Music, street food, market stalls and more: what not to miss at the Illuminating Egypt Festival | HerCanberra

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Music, street food, market stalls and more: what not to miss at the Illuminating Egypt Festival

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As the sun goes down on Saturday 13 April, from 4 – 8 pm the National Museum of Australia (NMA) will light up for the Illuminating Egypt Festival, filling the grounds with food, markets, dance, and live music.

The NMA has worked with cultural communities to create an evening of lively performances, exceptional experiences, and interactive events that the whole family can enjoy. Featuring diverse music and dance performances, mouth-watering street food, and an exciting range of family-friendly activities, you’ll be transported to the Middle East (minus the extreme heat and the pyramids).

Here are five reasons not to miss the unique festival. It promises to be a feast for the senses – and it’s free to attend!

Feast on flavours

Take your tastebuds on a culinary journey. Be transported by the sights and smells and enjoy a feast of flavours with mouth-watering street food from Egypt,  the Middle East and North Africa.

From homemade vegan dishes to sweets and delicious cuisine from Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and more,

Shop at a souk-inspired market

You can’t deny that one of the best parts of travelling is shopping, so with the news that souk-inspired market stalls will be part of the Illuminating Egypt Festival, why wouldn’t you want to go?

You’ll discover treasures ranging from hand-crafted Egyptian drums and ceramics to clothing, jewellery, and fashion accessories. And don’t miss the range of fragrances, grocery items, lanterns, and other Egyptian wares on offer – you never know what goodies you’ll unearth.

Listen to live contemporary and traditional Egyptian  performances

Photography: Stephen Kaak.

Surrounding you with sounds from Egypt and the Middle East, part of the exceptional experience of the Illuminating Egypt Festival will be the live performances that beautifully fuse culture and community.

Catch performances by Egyptian-Australian musicians and dancers, including percussionists Tarek and Youssef Sawires, The Zaffe Band Traditional Arabian Drumming, Banat Amar dance troupe, and masterful young oud player George Wasef.

St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church Choir will uplift audiences with their ancient hymns and special guests Yuval Askar and Phil Carroll will transport audiences with traditional Egyptian music.

Take the kids on a cultural journey

Ideal for families with kids of all ages, they’ll love getting creative with some Egypt-inspired family activities –  from artmaking with Egyptian papyrus to stamping with phonetic hieroglyphs, and Egyptian lantern making.  It’ll keep them entertained for hours.

Learn about incredible ancient history

Discovering Ancient Egypt

For those who are interested in Egypt’s fascinating past and dream of exploring temples and tombs, the Discovering Ancient Egypt Exhibition will be open for special extended evening hours, so you can get a glimpse into the history, spirituality, and mythology of daily life in ancient Egypt..

Purchase exhibition tickets ahead so you don’t miss out!

Mark this evening of community under the stars in your diary


What: Illuminating Egypt Festival
When: Saturday 13 April. 4 pm – 8 pm
Where: National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton


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