Egyptian Holidays

The calendar system of ancient Egypt is unique to both the cosmology of the Egyptians and their religion. Unlike the modern Julian calendar system, with it's 365 days to a year, the Egyptians followed a calendar system of 360 days, with three seasons, each made up of 4 months, with thirty days in each month. The seasons of the Egyptians corresponded with the cycles of the Nile, and were known as Inundation (pronounced akhet which lasted from June 21st to October 21st), Emergence (pronounced proyet which lasted from October 21st to February 21st), and Summer (pronounced shomu which lasted from February 21st to June 21st).
The beginning of the year, also called "the opening of the year", was marked by the emergence of the star Sirius, in the constellation of Canis Major. The constellation emerged roughly on June 21st., and was called "the going up of the goddess Sothis". The star was visible just before sunrise, and is still one of the brightest stars in the sky, located to the lower left of Orion and taking the form of the dogs nose in the constellation Canis Major.
Though the Egyptians did have a 360 day calendar, in a literal sense they did have a 365 day calendar system. The beginning of the year was marked by the addition of five additional days, known as "the yearly five days". These additional five days, were times of great feasting and celebration for the Egyptians, and it was not uncommon for the Egyptians to rituals, and other celebratory dealings on these days. The Egyptian calendar also took on other important functions within Egyptian life specifically in dealing with the astrology of the people.
Offerings: Honey, raw grains, prepared meats (Goose was a favorite, as was beef. However, avoid pork. It was considered unclean because of its connection to Sutekh. Also, avoid fish if you honor Osiris.) other offerings were fruit, flowers, oils (scented and olive) bees wax, bread (all kinds, plain or fruit filled, often in special shapes: pyramids or sacred objects) and incense, along with scented candles.
Beer was an important offering. Unlike modern beer, it was, to the Egyptians, a food group. Their beer was thicker in character, and cloudy, since filtering was used only to remove larger grains. The yeast to ferment it was the same yeast used in bread. The wild yeasts in sourdough bread are close relatives.

Month: Thuthi
Netjer of the Month:Thoth Akhet (winter)

Season: Innundation
Netjer of the Season: Hapi

Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
July 19
Month of Thuthi begins. Feast of Thoth; Also Opet Festival: marriage of Wasir & Aset (Isis & Osiris)
3
July 21
Birthday of Aten
7
July 25
Feast of Anket: welcoming the rising of the Nile
9
July 27
Queen Hatshepsut's Birthday
10
July 28
Festival of the Goddess of Weaving (Hedjihotep)
17
August 4
Festival of the Dead: Sunset Ceremony
19
August 6
Festival of Nut & Ra; Chief Festival of Thoth
25
August 12
Day of Sekhmet's repulsion of Set; Also Wasirian (Osirian) Mysteries: Feast of Lights of Aset (Isis)
26
August 13
Day of battle between Heru (Horus) and Set; Aset gains the Horns of Het-Hert (Hathor)
27
August 14
Day of Peace between Heru and Set
30
August 17
Rituals in the Temples of Ra
Heru (Horus) and Wasir (Osiris)
There is evidence that indicates that this Festival is the true "Festival of Intoxication." The possible mistaken belief that it honors Thoth not Hathor/Sekhmet stems from the fact that the feast falls in the month of Thoth. Strong evidence points to the myth recounting the destruction of mankind as the basis for this festival. According to this story, in order to end Hathor’s bloody rampage, Re tricked her into drinking beer laced with mandrake and red ocher. He flooded Egypt with this drugged beer. Hathor/Sekhmet, thinking it was blood, consumed so much of it that she became drunk and passed out, and she lost interest in destroying humanity. The yearly Innundation by the Nile, with its rich, red silt, is the earthly re-enactment of this flood of beer. This feast of intoxication is the ancient Egyptian's "October fest."

Month: Paopi
Netjer of the Month:Ptah

Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
August 18
Month of Paopi Begins
2
August 19
Procession of Heru to Neith
3
August 20
Tehuti(Thoth) orders the healing of the eye of Heru (Horus)
5
August 22
Feast of Montu
6
August 23
Great Feast of the Netjeru (Gods & Goddesses)
9
August 26
Day of Jubilation in the heart of Ra
10
August 27
Procession of Bast; Birthday of Nut
12
August 29
Bithtday of Het-Hert (Hathor)
13
August 30
Day of Satisfying the Hearts of the Ennead
14
August 31
Day Heru receives the White Crown
16
September 2
Feast of Wasir (Osiris)
18
September 4
Ceremony of Transformation through Anpu (Anubis)
19
September 5
Ceremony of Raising the Djed Pillar
21
September 7
Neith Goes forth to Atum
27
September 13
Festival of lighting the fires of Nieth
30
September 16
Land in Festival for Ra, Wasir, and Heru

Month: Hethara
Netjer of the Month:Het-Hert (Hathor)

Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
September 17
Motnh of Hethara begins; Feast of Het-hert (Hathor)
5
September 21
Autum Equinox; Honors to Het-hert
6
September 22
Ritual of the Netjers of the Two Lands
7
September 23
Honors offered to Atum
8
September 24
The going forth of Aset (Isis)
12
September 28
Wasir (Osiris) goes forth to Abydos; Purification of the hearts of the Netjers; Feast of Hapi: Creatiing of the Nile
15
October 1
Contemplation of the Fertility of Min
16
October 2
Day of the appearance of the eight Great Netjers (Primordials)
17
October 3
Landing of the Great Netjers in Abydos; Lamentations of Aset (Isis)and Nebet-Het (Nephthys) for Wasir (Osiris).
18
October 4
Festival of Het-Hert (Hathor).
20
October 6
Bast appears to Ra.
21
October 7
Feast Day of Ma'at .
23
October 9
Ra judges the dispute of Set and Heru (Horus).
24
October 10
Aset (Isis) goes forth
26
October 12
The Black Land is given to Heru (Horus); The Red Land is given to Set
28
October 14
Festival of establishing Heru as King;The appearance before Ptah
29
October 15
Feast of the Three Noble Ladies

Month: Koiak
Netjer of the Month: Sekhmet

Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
October 17
Month of Koiak Begins; The Feast of Sekhmet
2
October 18
The Netjeru in festivity
4
October 20
Festivals for Sebek
5
October 21
Het-Hert (Hathor) goes forth to Her people
7
October 23
Festival for Serquet (Selket); Ceremony of Thehuti (Thoth)
11
October 27
Feast of Wasir (Osiris) in Abydos
12
October 28
Day of Transformation into the Bennu Bird (Phoenix)
13
October 29
Going forth of Het-Hert (Hathor) and the Ennead
14
October 30
Celebration of the Netjert of Weaving and Fate; Coming forth of the Bennu transformed.
15
October 31
Feast of Sekhmet Bast Ra
17
November 2
Festival of Het-Hert (Hathor). The people and the Netjeru judge the speeches of the crew of the Solar Barge in Heliopolis
21
November 6
Raising the Djed Pillar
22
November 7
Ploughing the Earth
27
November 12
Aset (Isis) seeks the body of Wasir (Osiris)
28
Nov. 13
Aset (Isis) grieves the loss of Wasir (Osiris)
29
November 14
Aset (Isis) rejoices as She finds Wasir (Osiris)
30
November 15
Ennead feast in the House of Ra, Heru (Horus) and Wasir (Osiris); Invocation and offering to the Spirits (khu)


Month: Tybi
Netjer of the Month:Min Peret (Spring)

Netjer of the Season:Khepri
Season: Sowing

Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
November 16
Month of Tybi begins; Heb Sed Festival; Festival of Bast
5
November 20
Day of Sekhmet and the Purifying Flame
9
November 24
Day of Offerings to Sekhmet
13
November 28
Feast of Het-Hert (Hathor) and Sekhmet; Day of prolonging life and the goodness of Ma'at
18
December 3
Going forth of the Netjeru of Abydos
20
December 5
Bast goes forth from Bubastis
21
Dec. 6
Bast guards the Two Lands; Day of offerings to the Shemsu (followers) of Ra
23
December 8
Feast of Neith
28
December 13
The Day of Tehuti's taking the oath
29
December 14
The appearance of the Hu and Sia; Tehuti (Thoth) sends Bast and Sekhmet to guide Egypt
30
December 15
Day of crossing before Nun in the Temple of Hapi



Month: Mechir
Netjer of the Month:Rekhur

Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
December 16
Month of Mechir begins; Festival of the Little Heat; Day of Ptah lifting up Ra with His hands
2
December 17
Day the Netjers of Heaven receive Ra
3
December 18
Set goes forth
6
December 21
Winter Solstice; Feast of Aset (Isis)
8
December 23
Festival of the Great Heat; Feast Day of Het-Hert (Hathor)
10
December 25
Birth of Heru (Horus) the child of Aset (Isis) ; Going forth of Wadjet singing in Heliopolis;Day of Elevating the Great Netjert (Goddess) in all Her names & manifestations
11
December 26
Feast of Neith; Birth of Sebek (Sobek)
13
December 28
Day of Sekhmet going forth to Letopolis
16
December 31
Feast of Sekhmet
17
January 1
Day of keeping the things of Wasir (Osiris) in the hands of Anpu (Anubis)
20
January 4
Day of Nut and Raet proceeding southward
22
January 6
Feast of Ptah and Heru (Horus) 23 January 7 Festival of Aset (Isis)
24
January 8
Festival of Aset (Isis); Birth of Aion
26
January 10
Going forth of Min to Coptus; Aset sees Wasir's face
27
January 11
Feast of Sokar


Month: Pamenot
Netjer of the Month:Amun-Ra


Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
January 15
Month of Pamenot begins; Feast of entering Heaven and the Two Lands
5
January 19
The brilliant festival of lights as Neith goes forth from Sais
6
January 20
Going forth of Yinepu (Anubis); Festival of jubilation for Wasir (Osiris) in Busiris
8
January 22
Day of making way for Khnum
9
January 23
Day of Het-Hert (Hathor)
10
January 24
Day of coming of Tehuti (Thoth)
13
January 27
Tehuti and and the khu go forth
16
January 30
Day of opening the doors and courts at Karnak
18
Feb. 1
Feast of Nut
19
February 2
Birthday of Nut
22
February 5
Birthday of Apep (Apophis)
23
February 6
Feast of Heru
26
February 9
Day of unseen in the Underworld
28
February 11
Feast of Wasir (Osiris) in Abydos
30
February13
Feast of Wasir (Osiris) in Busiris; The Doorways of the Horizon are opened

Month: Parmutit
Netjer of the Month:Renenutet

Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
February 14
Month of Parmuti Begins
2
February 15
Geb proceeds to Busiris to see Anpu (Anubis)
7
February 20
Min goes forth in festivity
8
February 21
Day of counting the parts of the Eye of Heru
13
February 26
Day of Nut
16
March 1
Going forth of Khepri
17
March 2
Going forth of Set, Son of Nut
19
March 4
Feast of Ra in His Barge at Heliopolis
27
March 12
End of the World by Sekhmet
29
March 14
Adoration of Uneffer
30
March 15
Offerings to Ra, Wasir, Heru, Ptah, Sokar and Atum







Month: Pachons
Netjer of the Month:Khonsu Shemu (Summer)
Season:Harvest
Netjer of the Season: Khonsu-Ra

Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
March 16
Month of Pachons begins; Feast of Heru and His Companions
5
March 20
Feast of the good soul for sexual fertility
6
March 21
Spring Equinox; Harvest Festival; Festival of restructuring the Heavens; Coming forth of the Great Ones from the House of Ra
8
March 23
Festival of Aset (Isis)
10
March 25
Day the Shining Ones of Heaven move upstream
14
March 29
Day of the cutting out of the tongue of Sobek
17
April 1
Day of Het-Hert (Hathor)
18
April 2
Day of Joy of the Ennead and crew of Ra
19
April 3
Day of the counting of Tehuti (Thoth) who heard Ma'at
20
Apr. 4
Ma'at judges the souls before the Netjeru
30
April 14
Celebrations in the House of Ra, Wasir (Osiris) , and Heru (Horus)

Month:Payni
Netjer of the Month:Heru (Horus)

Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
April 15
Month of Payni Begins; Festival of Heru; Festival of Bast
2
April 16
Holiday of Ra and his Shemsu (followers)
7
April 21
Feast of Wadjet (Udjet or Buto)
13
April 27
The Ennead sails throughout the land
18
May 2
Wasir (Osiris) goes forth from His mountain
21
May 5
Day of the living children of Nut
25
May 9
The Akhet eye pleases Ra
26
May 10
Going forth of Neith along the river
28
May 12
Day of purification of all things.
30
May14
Tehuti (Thoth) appears with Shu to bring back Tefnut

Month:Epipi
Netjer of the Month:Wadjet

Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
May 15
Month of Epipi begins; Festivals of Het-Hert and Bast; Great feast of the Southern heavens
2
May 16
The Netjerts (Goddesses) feast in their temples
5
May 19
Het-Hert (Hathor) returns to Punt: the Netjers are saddened
7
May 21
Sailing of the Netjers after Het-Hert (Hathor)
12
May 26
Holiday of the receiving of Ra
15
May 29
Heru hears prayer in the presence of the Netjers
16
May 30
Ma'at is taken to Ra in Heliopolis
18
June 1
Ma'at and Ra go forth in secret
29
June 12
Festival of Mut: feeding of the Netjers
30
June 13
Ceremony of Heru the Beloved
Feast of the "Beautiful Reunion." Hathor’s barque was called the "Mistress of Love." During this festival, it was believed that Hathor left her temple in Dendera and sailed south to visit Horus in the city of Edfu. During her trip she stopped to visit Mut’s temple, the second day she visits Anukis, (A form of Nephthys, "Lady Of The House.") On the third day, she is joined by the Local God of Nehan (a form of Horus) before ending her travels in Edfu at the great Temple of Horus there. Horus would set out in his barque and meet Anukis outside Edfu. At this time, the two statues were enshrined together for fourteen days, and then the statues were taken to the temple roof to greet the sun god Ra.

Month:Mesore
Netjer of the Month:Heru-Khuiti

Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
June 14
Month of Mesore begins
2
June 15
Ma'at unites as one with all the Netjeru of the heavens
3
June 16
Feast of Raet; Feast of Het-Hert as Sirius
4
June 17
Day of the procession of Sopdu, the Warrior
5
June 18
Day of appearance of Min
7
June 20
Anpu travels to every necropolis
8
June 21
Summer Solstice; Wadjet ceremony
10
June 23
Anpu (Anubis) Ceremony
13
June 26
Holiday for the Shemsu of Heru (Shemsu-Hor)
15
June 28
Ra goes forth to propitiate the Nun
19
July 2
the Wadjet eye has returned complete
22
July 5
Feast of Anpu (Anubis) with the Children of Nut and Geb
28
July 11
Feast of Min 29 July 12 Holiday in the Temple of Sokar; Festival of the Estate of Ptah
30
July 13
Birthday of Ra


THE EPAGOMENAL DAYS
Egyptian Calendar
Gregorian Calendar
Festival/Celebration
1
July 14
Birthday of Wasir (Osiris)
2
July 15
Birthday of Heru-Dunawhy
3
July 16
Birthday of Set
4
July 17
Birthday of Aset (Isis)
5
July 18
Birthday of Nebet-Het (Nephthys)
Here are some interesting notes
on the Festivals of Opet and The New Year:
Opet or Ipet means "Harem," and the true name of the festival is "The Beautiful Feast." On this day the barque of Ammon-Re would be removed from its temple shrine, and, along with the image of Ammon-Ra, would journey up the Nile to the temple of his wife Ammonet. This was a serious party festival, lasting for twenty days, with a special ritual held at every stop of Ammon-Ra’s barque.
After nine months had passed Ammonet-Mut would ceremonially be taken into the Temple birthing chamber to give birth to Ammon-Ra’s son, Khonsu. Even today, remnants of this festival are still observed.
Today Opet has been renamed; it is now "The Festival of Saints," and is celebrated by Moslems. During the festival, a small boat is carried out of the Mosque of Abu El Haggag and paraded through the streets Luxor.
"The Feast of Sothis" (the heliacle rising of the star Sirius) was celebrated in every Temple in Egypt with a special ritual. Most temples housed more than one God or Goddess, and the normally secluded images of the temple’s Gods would be removed from their shrines, and taken to the roof of the temple so that the first light of the first day of the New Year would fall upon them.
The star Sothis (Sirius) is fundamental to the Egyptian religion. This importance is demonstrated in several ways. Both the star and the constellation Orion rise at the same time. The star is known as "The soul of Isis," and the constellation of Orion is the body of her husband Osiris, in heaven. The reappearance of both objects heralds the resurrection of the dead Osiris. Seventy days earlier, both the star and the constellation had disappeared from the sky, hidden by the sun’s light. All ancient Egyptians wanted to be "Osirified," and the seventy days of the mummification process reflected this time of the constellation's disappearance. The calendar and the mythology were intimately tied to the heavens.

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