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Luxor Travel Guide

Festivals in Luxor

One of the Festivals in Luxor is The Opet Festival, also known as the "Beautiful Feast of Opet". Became one of the most important yearly festivals of the Theban area. The word "Opet" means "secret chamber" and it refers to the private and secluded rooms adjoining the holy sanctuary of Amun of Luxor in the innermost chamber of Amenotep III's temple. These rooms stood on a low mound considered to be the original Mound of Creation which rose out of the primeval waters. However the Festival of Opet is the birthday of the Kingly Ka, and through special rituals at this time the divine kingship was regenerated and the king's right to rule re-confirmed.

The Barque of Amun of Karnak would leave the sanctuary in a gleaming procession that would take Him to the sanctuary of the Luxor Temple situated over one mile to the south. It was a grand spectacle, coming at the time of the second month of Akhet, the Inundation, and so was associated with both the flood season and fertility arising from the rich black soil. During Hatshepsut's reign, the barque was carried on the shoulders of wab-priests the entire journey.

However, by the time of the later New Kingdom, both journeys were sometimes made by river. The procession was accompanied by dignitaries and priests, acrobatic dances, soldiers, drummers, singers, musicians, and chariots of the king. Booths of food and drink for offerings lined the route from the river to the temple. After arriving at Luxor, the icons were moved into the shrines within the temple. Among the religious rites performed were the ritual repetition of the coronation rites of the King and offerings made by the King to Amun-Ra.

Moulid of Abu el-Haggag

Festivals: The event most famous is the Moulid of Abu el-Haggag, honouring Luxor's patron sheikh. However the Yussef Abu el-Haggag was born in Damascus (c.1150), moved to Mecca in his forties and finally settled in Egypt, where he founded a zawiyah in Luxor and met with other Sufi sheikhs such as Al-Mursi and Al-Shazli. Usually during the festival, giant floats move through the densely packed streets, some dedicated to trades, others to the sheikh himself.

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