Festival of the Sun in Abu Simbel in Egypt (22/02)

In the 8th century BC, by order of Pharaoh Ramesses II, two temples were cut down in the rock of Abu Simbel, located on the western bank of the Nile. The large rock temple was created in honor of the pharaoh himself, and the small one in honor of the goddess Khakhtor and the wife of the pharaoh Nefertari. The reason for the creation of these two temples was the victory of Ramesses over the Hittites.

Four 20-meter statues were erected in front of the temple: three statues depicted the gods patronizing the pharaoh's troops in battles - Amon, Ra and Ptah, and the fourth statue depicted the pharaoh himself. It is noteworthy that the gods were depicted in the guise of Ramesses. At the feet of Ramesses are small sculptures of the pharaoh's household - his wife, children and mother. It is also noteworthy that the gaze of the stone pharaoh is directed towards the rising Sun - to the east.

Historians suggest that Ramesses' birthday falls on October 22, and his coronation day falls on February 22. That is why every year, only twice a year on the specified days, the Abu Simbel Sun Festival takes place in Abu Simbel, which can rightly be called a magnificent performance of light.

The location of the elements of the temples is calculated in such a way that the first ray of the sun, penetrating through the entrance niche and illuminating the 65-meter corridor, falls on the face of the statue of Ramesses and brightly illuminates it for 12 minutes. At the same time, sunlight passes by the statue of the god Ptah, and lingers on the statues of the gods Amun and Ra for six minutes. And such a "light show" happens only 2 times a year.

Residents of the Abu Simbel region are preparing festive events with songs and dances for numerous tourists these days. Almost all local residents are ready to offer the services of guides and translators. Connoisseurs say that the best mode of transport to get to Abu Simbel is by boat.