Processional Routes and Festivals

Like today, in ancient times the Egyptians enjoyed commemorating days of religious and political significance (both local and national) with special festivities. Ancient Egyptian festivals were often linked to astronomical phenomena, agricultural seasons, and political events.

The resources in this section describe three important festivals: the Opet Festival, the Beautiful Feast of the Wadi and the Wehem Ankh.

The Opet Festival was a festival of national importance. Once a year, in the second month of Inundation season, Amun-Ra of Karnak and his divine family Mut and Khonsu left their temples and processed to the temple of Luxor to the south. Both the guide and video document the routes of the divine bark in the reigns of Hatshepsut and Ramesses II.

The Beautiful Feast of the Wadi celebration seems to have its origins in a popular festival linked with the goddess Hathor. This annual Theban festival’s meaning and form during the reigns of Hatshepsut and Ramesses III are presented in both guide and video. The stops along the route are highlighted and labeled for the viewer.

The Wehem Ankh (repetition of life) involved a procession wherein statues of Thutmose III and his queen Sat-Yah are transported between Karnak and the temple of the goddess Mut.

Available Resources

Guide (PDF format) – This document guides you through the videos in this section

Festival Procession – This video is composed of three sections that trace the routes of the Opet Festival, the Beautiful Feast of the Wadi, and the Wahem Ankh. 9min 0sec.