Egypt celebrates solar alignment on Temple of Ramses II in Abu Simbel

Bassant Mohammed
4 Min Read

Minister of Culture Ines Abdel Dayem and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled El-Anany agreed to set up an artistic show to celebrate the solar alignment on Temple of Ramses II in Abu Simbel

The two ministries also agreed to cooperate in organising a number of cultural and touristic events and festivals during the coming period in all governorates of Egypt. 

In addition, they discussed the necessary preparations to organise a number of artistic performances and cultural events in tourist and historical places with the aim of maximising the role of Egyptian soft power in supporting and revitalising the tourism movement. 

These events aim to raise tourism rates and cultural awareness, activate the internal tourism movement, and highlight the distinguished and multiple products of the Egyptian tourist destination.

The ministers also reviewed the content of the artistic show that will be organised in front of Abu Simbel Temple on the evening of 21 February after the completion of the sound and light show, celebrating the advent of the solar alignment on the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Ramses II in Abu Simbel, which will be held on the distinguished date of 22-02-2022.

It was also agreed to put large screens in the front yard of the temple on the day of the sun’s alignment to transmit this phenomenon to the public and to re-broadcast the artistic show.

Furthermore, the ministers discussed the organisation of events and festivals in Upper Egypt’s governorates during March in the Dandara Temple in Qena and the Abydos Temple in Sohag, in addition to holding some special offers for the month of Ramadan and the activities that will be held in the capital in celebration of Cairo being chosen as this year’s capital of culture for the Islamic world. 

The meeting was attended by CEO of the Egyptian General Authority for Tourism Activation Amr Al-Qadi, Assistant Minister for Technical Affairs Yamni Al-Bahar, Assistant Minister for Promotion Lamia Kamel, head of the Egyptian Opera House Magdy Saber, head of the General Authority for Culture Palaces Hisham Atwa, and head of the artistic house at the Opera Khaled Dagher. 

Abu Simbel is the largest temple carved in rocks in the world. The solar alignment on the Holy of Holies in the temple occurs twice every year on 22 February and 22 October, as the sun’s rays penetrate the front corridor of the entrance to the temple with a length of 200 metres until it reaches the Holy of Holies.

The Holy of Holies consists of a platform that includes the statue of King Ramses II, sitting next to it is the statue of the Ancient Egyptian god Ra-Hor, his sister, the god Amun, and the statue of the god Ptah.

The sun, however, does not light up the face of Ptah, as he was considered by the ancient Egyptians as the god of darkness.

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