The Tanta moulid celebrates the memory Ahmed el-Bedawi, a local 13th Century Sufi saint.
Sufism is a mystical branch of Islam. Followers perform the zikr, chanting the name of God over and over again, at an ever increasing tempo. Some achieve a trance-like state.About 3,000 moulids are held in Egypt every year. Part pilgrimage, part carnival, part mystical Islamic ceremony, they are a mass phenomenon that is increasingly attracting the attention of the Egyptian authorities.
Sufism has between six and seven million followers in Egypt, about 10% of the population.
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