Opet Festival

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Beautiful Feast of Opet (or Opet Festival) was an Ancient Egyptian festival, celebrated annually in Thebes, during the New Kingdom period and later in time. The statues of the gods of the Theban TriadAmun, Mut and their child Khonsu — were escorted in a joyous procession, though hidden from sight in a sacred barque, from the temple of Amun in Karnak, to the temple of Luxor, a journey of around 2 miles, in a marital celebration. The highlight of the ritual is the meeting of Amun-Re of Karnak with the Amun of Luxor.[1] Rebirth is a strong theme of Opet and there is usually a re-coronation ceremony of the pharaoh.[2]

In earlier celebrations of the opet festival, the statues of the god proceeded down the avenue of sphinxes that connect the two temples, stopping at specially constructed chapels en route.[3] 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.[4] In later celebrations, the statues would be transported both to and from Karnak/Luxor by boat.[5] The festival was celebrated in the second month of Akhet, the season of the flooding of the Nile.

A royal barque also sailed with the gods' vessel, and the ceremonies in the 'Chamber of the Divine King' would reenact the coronation ceremonies and thus confirm kingship.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wilkinson 2000, The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt Thames & Hudson, pg.171
  2. ^ Bell 1997, "The New Kingdom ‘Divine’ Temple: The Example of Luxor” In: Shafer, B. E (ed) Temples of Ancient Egypt Cornell University Press, pg.174
  3. ^ Bell 1997, "The New Kingdom ‘Divine’ Temple: The Example of Luxor” In: Shafer, B. E (ed) Temples of Ancient Egypt Cornell University Press, pg.161
  4. ^ Wilkinson 2000, The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt Thames & Hudson, pg.171
  5. ^ Wilkinson 2000, The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt Thames & Hudson, pg.171
  • Davies, V. & Friedman R. Egypt, British Museum Press, 1998
  • Nigel Strudwick and Helen Strudwick. Thebes in Egypt, Cornell University Press, 1999

External links[edit]