Ancient Egyptian Festival Calendar: Akhet

Akhet Peret Shemu


hieroglyphs; Akhet

The first season of the ancient Egyptian calendar was Akhet (appearance). This was the season in which the inundation occurred, and so it was dedicated to Hapi. it was hoped that he would ensure that the flood was not too low (resulting in a poor harvest) or too high (resulting in the destruction of mud-brick houses and paths built near to the Nile).

The inundation was also associated with the star Sirius because the star re-appeared (after a seventy day absence) at the new year heralding the flood. The star was associated with Sopdet (Sothis), Satet (Satis) and Isis .

The inundation was a quiet time for farmers as the fields were largely submerged. To earn tax relief (tax was a proportion of the food they produced) they could take on other jobs for the state. For example, during the Old Kingdom farmers could help with the construction of monuments such as the pyramids in return for living expenses and a tax rebate.

1; Tekh (Thoth, Thuti, Thout, Djwhty)

month; tekt, Thoth

Day Festival
1 wp rnpt- New Year (lit. opening of the year)
2 HAt rnpt- "front of the year"
3 ihhy -"jubilation"
10procession of Isis (Late Period)
15Hapi and Amun
17-18 Wagy or Wag
19 Wag and Thoth. festival
20 Tekh (drunkenness)
22 Great Procession of Osiris.
30 Osiris and Ennead

2; Menhet (Phaophi, Baba)

month; Phaophi

Day Festival
4 hnp Sa - pouring the sand'
5 mnht ha-hpr-ra - "cloth of Khakheperra (Senusret II)'"
and festival of Osiris and Ennead
15 or19 Ipet (Opet)festival (11 to 27 day festival of Amun
18 festival of Khnum and Anuket in Elephantine
27 2 day festival of Montu in Thebes
28 festival of Satet and Anuket in Elephantine

3; Hwt-Hru (hathor, Athyr)

month; Athyr

Day Festival
6 ht hAwy m Ssp itrw "evening offering in taking the river"
feast of Isis(Late Period)
7 Ssp itrw 'taking the river'
8 Abd 'month'
9 festival of Amun
15Fertility festival of Min
17 the lamentations of Isis and Nephthys (New Kingdom)
21Feast day of Ma ´at
30festival of Anuket in Elephantine

4; Ka-Hr-Ka (Nehebkau, Khoiak)

month; Khoiak

Day Festival
1 hnt Hwt-Hr - sailing of Hathor.
11 Hb skr -Sokar
18start of the Khoiak festival (Osiris)
22 Khoiak; Ploughing the Earth
26Khoiak; Sokar
30 Khoiak; raising the Djed pillar

Ancient Egyptian Calendar Peret Shemu

copyright J Hill 2010
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