After the nice success of the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade that was held in Cairo on April 3, preparations are underway for one other main Pharaonic-themed occasion that can carry the world’s consideration to Egypt, this time in Luxor.
The growth and restoration of the Great Processional Way (El-Kebash Road) is nearly full and a serious celebration is deliberate for its the reopening.
“The festival will be held in the last quarter of this year,” Mustafa El-Saghir, director of Karnak Temples and common supervisor of the Grand Processional Way mission, advised Al-Monitor. He defined that the two,700 kilometers (1,700 miles) of what’s typically referred to as the “Avenue of Sphinxes” has many extra sorts of statuary amongst its 1,200 statues, together with many bearing ram options.
The building of the Great Processional Way started through the New Kingdom (1550 BC-1077 BC) and was accomplished through the 30th Dynasty rule of Nectanebo I (380-362 BC).
The mission is not only concerning the street and its statues, El-Saghir mentioned. There have been different discoveries made between 2006-2011 and can open to the general public for the primary time after the pageant.
“The road also features recently discovered flower planters between pairs of statues dating back to the New Kingdom era. There are also wine presses dating back to the Roman era,” he added.
He famous that there are additionally websites for manufacturing pottery, amulets and ornaments alongside the street. “All these discoveries explain the economic and social life of Thebes residents at that time,” he mentioned.
“The history of excavation work on the Great Processional Way began in 1949, when the Egyptian archaeologist Zakaria Ghoneim unearthed the first eight ram-headed statues. Over the years, he was followed by other Egyptian archaeologists who discovered the remains of the road,” he mentioned.
The upcoming occasion, El-Saghir added, will revive the celebration of Opet Day. It was one of many well-known and necessary feasts in historic Egypt. It is devoted to Amun and is widely known within the Coptic month of Paopi, when the harvest season ends, between Oct. 11 and Nov. 10.
“Opet Festival was held to honor the Thebes’ local trinity: Amun-Re along with his consort goddess Mut and their son Khonsu. During that festival, there was a procession from Karnak Temple. Three statues representing these gods were placed in gilded barques and carried by priests along the Grand Processional Way to Luxor Temple and back,” he mentioned.
Karnak Temple, on the japanese financial institution of Luxor, was the venue of the cult of Amun, God of Thebes. Luxor temple, three kilometers south of Karnak, is the place he married Mut.
“In the upcoming celebration, people representing priests will carry the statue of Amun from Karnak Temple, Mut’s from her temple and Khunsu’s as well on sacred boats, exactly like ancient Egyptians did,” he mentioned, including that lighting, Pharaonic apparel, performances and music will add pleasure to the fashionable pageant.
He identified that the Opet Festival’s rituals are detailed in Luxor Temple, including, “The inscriptions also reveal many features of that feast such as music, dance, military marches, presenting offerings and horse shows.”
On July 6, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly inspected the newest work on the Great Processional Way. He mentioned that the mission is among the many most necessary antiquities-related initiatives that Egypt is at present engaged on and goals to make Luxor the biggest open museum on the planet by linking the Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, the Temple of Mut alongside the Great Processional Way.
Magdy Shaker, chief archaeologist on the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, advised Al-Monitor, “I believe that the opening ceremony of El-Kebash Road and the revival of the rituals of the Opet Festival will surpass the success of the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade because it is based on an ancient Egyptian ritual and not just a new idea to transport mummies.”
He identified that Luxorians themselves nonetheless embrace options of the Pharaonic Opet Festival of their celebration of the birthday of Abul Haggag, which falls in mid-Shaban within the Islamic calendar, two weeks earlier than Ramadan.
Abul Hagag was a 13th-century Sufi sheikh. The Fatimid-era mosque that bears his identify and marks his remaining resting place was in-built the Luxor temple.
Shaker mentioned, “In the Abul Haggag Moulid, the parade starts at Luxor Temple, where his mosque is located, and tours Luxor’s streets. Grandsons of Abul Haggag and other sheikhs carry ornamented boats and lead the parade, a ritual that all Luxorians and nearby towns participate in. The boat signifies spiritual enlightenment.”
“The three-day festival is always attended by the governor,” he mentioned. “Among other activities, there are horse performances, music, the martial art of tahtib and troupes of zikr dancers performing in tents along the roadside as well as reciting duas and other religious songs,” he added.