Calendar: Shemu


Shemu (shomu – low water, harvest) was the third season in the ancient Egyptian calendar, running from early May to early September. It was the season of the harvest (in contrast to most of their neighbours who would be planting their crops at this time). At the end of Shemu fall the additional five epagomenal days which brought the number of days in the year to 365. Of course, the missing quarter day cause the calendar to slip out of sync!



Month 9; hnsw (Pa-khonsu, Pakhon)

1st festival of Renenutet (and the birthday of Nepri – personification of grain)

10th festival of Anubis

11th four day festival of Min

18th mddnt (half-month)


Month 10; hnty-hty (Paeninet, Paoni, Payni)

New moon festival of the valley

7th Feast of Wadjet

19th Hb HqA anx wDA snb “festival of the ruler may he live, be healthy and well”


11; iput-hmt (Epip Epiph)

15th Hapy and Amun to secure a good flood

30th eve of the Hathor festival at Thebes


Month 12; Wpt-rnpt (Mesut-Ra, Mesori)

2Ist pip festival, dedicated to Isis (Late Period)

8th Summer solstice: ceremony of Wadjet

24th festival of Ptah (local festival)

30th New Years Eve


  • Bard, Kathryn (2008) An introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
  • Kemp, Barry J (1991) Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilisation
  • Redford Donald B (2002) Ancient Gods Speak
  • Trigger, B.G, Kemp, B.J, O’Connor. D, Lloyd. A.B (1983) Ancient Egypt, A Social History
  • Van De Mieroop, Marc (1999) A History of Ancient Egypt
  • Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003) The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt
  • Wilkinson, Richard H. (2000) The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt
  • Wilson, Hilary (1997) People of the Pharaohs

Copyright J Hill 2010