The Abu Simbel Sun Festival, which takes place twice a year in February and October, is undoubtedly the most well-known of ancient Egyptian festival events. Ancient Egyptians were marked by elaborate processions across the towns and the sacred waters of the Nile during this time.
In many cases, these celebrations highlighted significant agricultural events in the solar year, worshipped powerful gods, or honored governing kings and queens. Even now, many of these celebrations are still going strong.
It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the Abu Simbel Sun Festival Egypt, to walk among the ancient Egyptian gods and experience the magnificent sun celebration where the people of ancient Egypt strove to capture the sun with their hands.
About Abu Simbel Temples
Many people visit Egypt every year to see the Abu Simbel Temples, Egypt’s most popular tourist attraction. People thought the temples built by King Ramses II were the most beautiful in Egypt.
Egypt’s most famous landmark is located south of Aswan, on the shores of Lake Nasser, just south of Aswan itself. Ramesses II, the greatest pharaoh of the New Kingdom, erected these colossal rock-cut temples to mark the southern boundary of the Egyptian Empire with Nubia at its peak of power. They were made to convey Egypt’s rulers’ capacity to everybody who came into contact with them.
The Ancient Egyptians built the Sun Temple out of rocks on the bank of the Nile River around 1250 BC. In the middle of the temple is a statue of Ramses II that is 65 feet tall and seated.
Besides the temple for Ramses and Nefertiti, there are two more in the compound.
Dedicated to the goddess Hathor, the temple of Nefertari, Ramesses’ favorite wife, was constructed. The goddess Hathor was the focus of the second temple, which is nevertheless massive and smaller than the first. The second temple is remarkable because it places the pharaoh’s wife on an equal footing with the monarch on several occasions.
The four statues that stand at the entrance to the enormous temple are the most significant and most critical pharaonic sculptures that have been found.
Did Abu Simbel get moved?
When the Aswan High Dam created Lake Nasser, it was necessary to move the whole temple complex to higher ground.
After dismantling and raising the two temples to 60 meters above the ground, they were reconstructed in the same position as before and covered with artificial mountains.
What is the Abu Simbel Sun Festival?
It’s easy to assume that Ramses II was not the most humble person in history! The last room, known as the sanctum sanctorum, is kept entirely dark for two days each year as a mark of respect for its reverence. This event was not a fluke; it took all of the ancient Egyptians’ knowledge of physics, mathematics, building, and astronomy.
The Abu Simbel Festival Egypt is held twice a year in southern Egypt at the spectacular Ramses II Temple. For a brief moment, only twice a year, the temple’s central chamber is illuminated by the sun for a short time on two different days of the year. This occurrence has been occurring for about 3,200 years.
King Ramses sun festival was Ramses II’s goal when building the Abu Simbel Temple that he would illuminate his inner room twice a year, on February 22nd (the anniversary of his ascension to the throne), as well as his birthday, on October 22nd.
Abu Simbel Sun Festival Facts
The central Abu Simbel sun festival fact is where the sun rises and illuminates the temple corridor, extending more than 200 feet back to three of the four sculptures in the sanctum sanctorum.
The internal statues of Ra (the sun god) and Amun (the king of the gods) are lit up because of the intelligent architecture. At the same time, Ptah (the god of darkness) is the only one who stays in the shadows. It’s been more than 3,200 years since this statue saw the light of day!
What amazes me about this temple is how much thought and planning must have gone into making all these symbols work. If there were one small mistake, the god of darkness would get light, or if there were one math mistake, the sun wouldn’t reach the farthest point in the distance. The Ancient Egyptians were true architects, and they built some impressive structures.
How do people celebrate the Abu Simbel Sun Festival?
In the early morning at the Sun Festival Abu Simbel, large groups of locals and Egyptians from all over Egypt come out of the temple before the sun rises, along with international visitors. It’s a great chance to learn about contemporary Egyptian culture while interacting with friendly locals.
The sun rises and breaks through the shadow of the temple’s inner room, allowing them to see the three statues bathed in sunshine in its interior space.
Everyone gathers to eat, drink, and dance as soon as the sun has risen high enough to cast a shadow on the monuments. There are also several opportunities to sample the delectable Egyptian cuisine.
This event is where you’ll witness some of the best traditional performers. There are a wide variety of craftspeople all working together.
When is the Abu Simbel Sun Festival?
The Abu Simbel Sun Festival date comes twice a year; tourists from around the world rush to Egypt on the two days of the year to experience the King Ramses Sun Festival; on February 22nd, when Ramses II’s ascent to the throne began, and on October 22nd, his birthday.
Because of the advanced astronomical and technological knowledge the ancient Egyptians had at their disposal, seeing this occurrence was a feast for the senses.
During the festival, the Ministry of Tourism and the residents of Aswan work together to ensure that everything goes as planned for travelers to enjoy this fantastic solar and cultural event.
Experience a Sun Festival Abu Simbel Egypt tour.
The Abu Simbel Sun Festival Egypt is one of the most-visited ancient sites, and our Egypt tour packages take you there and to the Pyramids of Giza and the Royal Tombs of Luxor. It’s the best way to see the sun and learn about Egypt’s history simultaneously.