Ancient Egyptian Festival Calendar: Akhet

hieroglyphs; Akhet

The first season of the ancient Egyptian calendar was Akhet (appearance). It ran from mid July to mid November. This was the season in which the inundation occurred, and so it was dedicated to Hapi. it was hoped that he would ensure that the flood was not too low (resulting in a poor harvest) or too high (resulting in the destruction of mud-brick houses and paths built near to the Nile).

The inundation was also associated with the star Sirius because the star re-appeared (after a seventy day absence) at the new year heralding the flood. The star was associated with Sopdet (Sothis), Satet (Satis) and Isis .

The inundation was a quiet time for farmers as the fields were largely submerged. To earn tax relief (tax was a proportion of the food they produced) they could take on other jobs for the state. For example, during the Old Kingdom farmers could help with the construction of monuments such as the pyramids in return for living expenses and a tax rebate.

Month 1; Tekh (Thoth, Thuti, Thout, Djwhty)

month; tekt, Thoth
Day
Festival
1
wp rnpt- New Year (lit. opening of the year)
2
HAt rnpt- "front of the year"
3
ihhy -"jubilation"
10
procession of Isis (Late Period)
15
Hapi and Amun
17-18
Wagy or Wag
19
Wag and Thoth. festival
20
Tekh (drunkenness)
22
Great Procession of Osiris.
30

Month 2; Menhet (Phaophi, Baba)

month; Phaophi
Day
Festival
4
hnp Sa - pouring the sand'
5
mnht ha-hpr-ra - "cloth of Khakheperra (Senusret II)'" and festival of Osiris and Ennead
15 or19
Ipet (Opet)festival (11 to 27 day festival of Amun
18
festival of Khnum and Anuket in Elephantine
27
2 day festival of Montu in Thebes
28
festival of Satet and Anuket in Elephantine


Month 3; Hwt-Hru (hathor, Athyr)

month; Athyr
Day
Festival
6
ht hAwy m Ssp itrw "evening offering in taking the river" and feast of Isis(Late Period)
7
Ssp itrw 'taking the river'
8
Abd 'month'
9
festival of Amun
15
Fertility festival of Min
17
the lamentations of Isis and Nephthys (New Kingdom)
21
Feast day of Ma ´at
30
festival of Anuket in Elephantine

Month 4; Ka-Hr-Ka (Nehebkau, Khoiak)

month; Khoiak
Day
Festival
1
hnt Hwt-Hr - sailing of Hathor.
11
Hb skr -Sokar
18
start of the Khoiak festival (Osiris)
22
Khoiak; Ploughing the Earth
26
Khoiak; Sokar
30
Khoiak; raising the Djed pillar

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