Opet Festival

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Description:
The Beautiful Feast of Opet (or Opet Festival) was an Ancient Egyptian festival, celebrated annually in Thebes, during the New Kingdom period and later.

The statues of the gods of the Theban Triad — Amun, Khonsu and Mut — (hidden from sight in a sacred barque) were escorted in a joyous procession from the temple of Amun in Karnak, to the temple of Luxor, a journey of around 2 miles, in order to relive their marriage. The highlight of the ritual is the meeting of Amun-Re of Karnak with the Amun of Luxor. Rebirth is a strong theme of Opet and there is usually a re-coronation ceremony of the pharaoh.

In earlier celebrations of Opet, the statues of the god probably processed down the avenue of sphinxes that connect the 2 temples, stopping at specially constructed chapels en route. These chapels would have been filled with offerings, providing for the gods themselves and the attending priests. At the end of the ceremonies in the Luxor Temple, the barques journeyed back by boat to Karnak. In later celebrations, the statues would be transported both to and from Karnak/Luxor by boat. It was celebrated in the second month of Akhet, the season of the flooding of the Nile.

A royal barque was also present, and the ceremonies in the 'Chamber of the Divine King' would reenact the coronation ceremonies and thus confirm kingship.

References

  • Davies, V. & Friedman R. <cite>Egypt</cite>, British Museum Press, 1998
  • Strudwick N & Strudwick K.......
  • ...

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