The Egyptians loved to celebrate, and they loved to have festivals that would celebrate their love for their gods.
Since the Egyptians knew that their gods were always present and doing things for them, such as Ra raising the sun, Khonsu traveling across the night sky bringing the moon at night, Bes allowing babies to be born and so on, the people did daily worship to these gods, but not formal worshipping or weekly worshiping at the temples, but these formal worships were in the form of festivals.
These festivals were written in calendars and they were found written in scrolls and inside of temples with a detailed list of what the dates were and what was supposed to happen at the festivals.
The festivals were an exciting time of the year and they were celebrated with games, food, banquets, parties, people would set up and sell food, banners were hung, music was played, there were parades and most of the time the priests would wear bird and animal masks and parade around the festival, representing their love for their gods.
Many times, female musicians would shake rattles as they marched around the festival. As the festivals came to an end, the priest would take the food to the temple gates and pass out food to those that had attended the festival for those days.
The festivals would celebrate the different things that the gods did and oftentimes the people that attended the festival would carry around statues of the gods and “introduce” them to other statues, letting them meet up with the different gods.
These times of gathering were used for times of formal worship letting the people express their thanks and admiration and ask for favors from the gods formally.
The festivals also reminded people how the world worked and how the earth operated, and that the gods controlled everything, only allowing the priest and the King to have more power than the other people, just not as much as the gods.
The festivals would require the people to bring different offerings, depending on what the festival was, and most of the time, the King had to give money in order for the festival to be able to be had.
The priests were responsible for planning and opening the festivals and making sure that everything was right before the festival would start.
Most of the festivals were held on certain dates and they followed what was called the civil calendar. These festivals went for a certain number of days and were celebrated each year by the people.
Many of the festivals celebrated something such as the Ramesses III Festival, which celebrated Ramesses for having victory of the Libyans. This yearly festival was to celebrate this person, while other festivals celebrated gods or the birth of the land.
The Wepet-renpet or “Sothis” was called “opener of the year,” and was the New Years celebration. This celebration took place following the flood of the Nile River, which the Egyptians knew when this would happen. This celebration happened each year and was considered a huge celebration and the rebirth of the land.
Other festivals include the Feast of Wagy, the Festival of Opet, which celebrated the link between the Pharaoh’s and the gods, and at this festival, the people of Egypt could ask the gods yes and no questions. They used a barge to give the answer.
If the barge tipped forward, the answer was “yes,” and if the barge backed away, the answer was, “no.” The Festival of Choiak or Sokar celebrated the first season and celebrated the god Osiris. There was a Festival of Fertility, celebrating the god Min, Heb-Sed which celebrated the King, Festival of the Potters Wheel, Rebirth Celebration of Nehebkau, and more, being around 30-50 festivals in one years’ time.