With its large cotton plantations, in 1856, Tanta became a stop on the railway network, primarily for the benefit of exporting its cotton to European markets. Even by 1986 the area around Tanta was mostly open fields with scattered villages but by 2001, Tanta had grown into a large, busy city.
Tanta is known for its sweets, eaten mostly when large numbers of Egyptians descend upon on the city, during the mulid (Arabic: المولد) festivals.
This city comes to life in late October at the end of the cotton harvest. Three million people, from around the Delta and other parts of the Arab world, come for the Moulid of Sayid Ahmed el-Badawi, which is a colorful, religious, eight-day celebration. The moulid is centered around the mosque and tomb of Sayid Ahmad al-Badawi. He founded one of Egypt's largest Sufi orders called Ahmadiyyah or Badawiyya. He was born in Morocco, but emigrated to Arabia and was sent to Tanta in 1234 as a representative of the order from Iraq. He was given permission to start a new order in Tanta and it soon flourished into "one of Egypt's largest Sufi brotherhoods". During the festival many sugar-coated nuts called 'hubb el 'Aziz' ('seeds of the Beloved Prophet') are eaten. They have been considered a delicacy since the 1800s.
Tanta has cotton ginning factories and textile industries, and is also a university town with Tanta University since 1972.
The people of Tanta are called Tantawy and enjoy leisurely walks along the streets.
What originally began in Cairo, spread to Tanta when a group of young Egyptians began showing European movie screenings at Rivoli Cinema, the oldest cinema in Tanta. Called the 8th Edition Panorama of European Films, the young media students invited a film director to speak with the audience: people were enticed and the film screenings became a huge success. The group also began the Association of Cinema and Literature Lovers Group to encourage young filmmakers in Tanta.
Tanta Sporting Club: It is An Egyptian Sports Club Based In Tanta, Egypt. Mohamed Saied Basha Founded Tanta Sporting Club In July 1932, As A Gathering Place For Tanta 's professionals. The Club's First President was Mohamed Saied Basha. First, it named Municipality Club, In 1936 after the King Farouk visited the club, it called First Foaud King Club. After the 1952 revolution, it called Tanta Sporting Club. The Club activities include social events and sports activities. Social activities include meeting areas for all the members, playground for children, Theater, Library, and restaurant. The sports activities include soccer ball, basketball, Swimming, and Tennis.
There is a Young Men's Muslim Association (YMMA) in Tanta and in 1994 had about 1000 members.
Telecom Egypt, the main telephone landline Egyptian company, has one of its main centers in Tanta.
St. Mary Coptic Orthodox church, which is over 200 years old, is located in Tanta. Some people believe that the icon of the Virgin Mary has healing powers. The Museum of Tanta contains items from ancient nearby sites of Sais, Naucratis, and Buto, such as pottery and statues. El Mahallah is a large industrial town near Tanta, famous for its textile.
As all of Egypt, has a hot desert climate (BWh), according to Köppen-Geiger climate classification system.Kamal Amien (Arabic: كمال أمين) (1923–1979) Egyptian artist
Khairy Beshara (Arabic: خيري بشارة ) Film director
Abdu Al-Hamouli (Arabic: عبده الحامولى) (1836–1901) Arab-Egyptian singer
Mahmoud Khalil Al-Hussary (Arabic: محمود خليل الحصرى) (1917–1980) reciter of the Qur'an
Mohamed Fawzi (Arabic: محمد فوزى), (1918–1966) Egyptian composer, singer, and actor
Naima Akef (Arabic: نعيمة عاكف) (1939–1966) Egyptian belly-dancer and movie superstar
Doria Shafiq (Arabic: درية شفيق) (1908–1975) a leader of the Women's Liberation Movement in the early 1950s
Ahmed Ibrahim Hegazy (1936-2011) Known as "Hegazy", a caricature artist
Nasr Abu Zayd "Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd" (1943–2010) Egyptian Qur'anic thinker and a liberal theologian in Islam
Ahmed Khaled Towfik (1962 - ) Egyptian author
Amina Rizk (1910–2003) Egyptian actress
El-Sayed Mohamed Nosseir, (1905-1977) Olympic Gold medal winner in weightlifting
Maximos V Hakim, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch
Nabil Farouk, Novelist who influenced Egyptian youth during the 1980s and 1990s.
Bishop Paula, Head of the Coptic Orthodox Council for Marital Affairs.