Ancient Egypt for Kids
Egyptian Calendar of Feasts and Offerings: The Egyptian Calendar of Feasts and Offerings listed many festivals planned throughout the year. Some were national festivals, like the New Year Festival, the Raising of the Sky Festival, and the Festival of the Potter's Wheel. Most were local festivals. A town might hold 30-50 festivals each year. Some festivals lasted more than one day. With so many festivals, it's not surprising that some overlapped.
Festival Activity: Besides funerals, daily rites, and other religious activities, priests were responsible for local festivals. Festivals were held joyously. They were filled with high-spirited attendance. There were people selling food and souvenirs. There were banners and gaiety and music and laughter. The center of the celebration was the statue of the god, carried by the priests, in parade style, up and down the streets of the town or city, sometimes moving the statue from one temple to another, and retracing their route with a new statue of a different god. The priests wore bird and animal masks. Around them, female musicians would shake rattles. Along festival routes, other priests could be found at the bark shrines, the small shrines set up to honor specific gods. These priests were available as oracles to interpret dreams of individuals for a small fee, while waiting for the parade to pass, again and again.
Reversion of Offerings: People brought so much food as offerings to the temples during the festivals that a ceremony began to be incorporated into the festivals known as the reversion of offerings. All the extra food brought to the temples was redistributed to the mass of people attending this special ceremony.