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Egypt: Ramadan cannon fired for first time since 1992

A Ramadan cannon is fired to mark the breaking of the fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the compound of the citadel in the Egyptian capital Cairo on April 13, 2021 [AHMED HASAN/AFP via Getty Images]
A Ramadan cannon is fired to mark the breaking of the fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the compound of the citadel in the Egyptian capital Cairo on April 13, 2021 [AHMED HASAN/AFP via Getty Images]

The historic Ramadan cannon announcing the breaking of the fast in Egypt was fired for the first time in nearly 30 years at sunset on Tuesday. The last time the cannon was fired was in 1992.

The tradition is said to have started at the iconic Citadel of Salah Al-Din Al-Ayubi in Cairo, from where Tuesday's cannon shot was fired. Although there are competing accounts it is widely believed to have started in 1460 when the Mamluk Sultan Sayf Al-Din Khushqadam is said to have fired a cannon to test it after receiving it as a gift.

The cannon was restored by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in line with the government's plans to develop historic sites.

Al-Ahram reported Professor Eman Zidan, Assistant of Tourism and Antiquities for the Development of Museums and Archaeological Sites, as saying that the cannon will be fired throughout the month to keep the heritage of the castle alive. They will also make use of modern technology with a laser beam near the cannon aimed across the evening sky.

Such a tradition has since found its way into other Muslim countries during Ramadan, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bangladesh, and Kuwait. The fasting month of Ramadan commenced on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.

WATCH: Egyptians prepare for Ramadan

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