The Coptic Orthodox Church , celebrated on Saturday, the well-known festival of "Kom Maria", in Dayr Abu Hinnis, a small, isolated Christian village, 186 miles south of Cairo, commemorating the Holy Family's flight into Egypt.
The festivities were attended by His Eminence Bishop Anba Demetrius of Mallawi, the U.S. Ambassador to Cairo, Margaret Scobey, a number of representatives of foreign embassies in Egypt, Governors, senior officials, media representatives, and more than 10,000 people.
The celebrations at Dayr Abu Hinnis begin in the early morning hours as Coptic pilgrims ferry across the Nile, from the West to the East Bank’s shoreline, singing and clapping joyfully, ahead of the official procession.
The visitors position themselves along the shoreline, to watch the Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Mallawi cross the Nile in a splendidly decorated ancient sailing boat.
The procession, with priests and Deacons representing different churches, carrying crosses and icons moves through the village proper, past the fifth -century church, ending at Kom Maria, a sandy hill just outside the village. During the two-kilometer walk Coptic music and hymns are sung.
At Kom Maria, a play embodying the Holy Family’s visit to the place, is enacted by the Scout Group.
According to Coptic tradition, the Holy Family rested on that hill during their flight from Herod’s soldiers
The festival is held twice a year, on the last Saturday in January to commemorate the arrival of the Holy Family to Kom Maria, and the second on the last Saturday of June, as a commemoration of the miracle of the "dissolving of the iron" performed by the Virgin.
The Us Ambassador also visited the Pharaonic archaeological areas of Malawy, including Ashmoonein and Tal Amarna.