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Ancient Egyptian Calendar

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Akhet - The Horizon

The Ancient Egyptian Calendar

The purpose of this calendar is to give an overview of how the ancient Egyptian calendar worked and how it would correspond to modern ones. Its purpose is not to state a correct calendar. The Egyptian year was divided into three seasons (Inundation/Autmn, Growing/Winter and Harvest/Summer) Each season was divided into four months of each thirty days making a total of 120 days in each season. Each month was further divided into three decans to become three weeks of ten days each. At the end of the year, five extra days were thrown in to compensate for the year being 365 days. This ocurred in antiquity late June, due to the progression of the stars nowadays late July, when the inundation of the Nile began. As the inundation never ocurred on a fixed date, the rising of the Dog Star (Sirius), which had a fixed date was used as a sign that the inundation was near. I have used several sources when composing this calendar. The Julian times given are an estimation, but they are not correct and sources give different info. Dates has to be calculated anew each year by the rising of the star Sirius, and the result varies according to where on the planet you are. According to James P. Allen - 'Middle Egyptian; An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs', the names of the months go back to at least the Middle Kingdom and probably used primarily in the area around MenNefer (Memphis). They were names for festivals occurring in them or in the month after. Around the New Kingdom, the names of the months changed to reflect the festivals held in the Waset (Thebes) area. This page gives both names and many of the later ones survived into Coptic. Not everyone agrees to his theory however. More research is surely needed. The names of the deities for each month are given in ancient Egyptian with a link to info about them and in Greek within parenthesis when applicable. MK: Middle Kingdom. NK: New Kingdom

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Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Julian time

Season

Kemetic

Coptic

Greek

Major Festivals 1st Akhet: Opening of the Year, Wag Festival of Osiris, Festival of the Departure of Osiris at Abydos, Festival of Djehuty, Festival of Intoxication (for Hathor) 2nd Akhet: Festival of Ptah South of His Wall (MenNefer) Opet Festival (Waset)

Deity

Early August early Sept.

1 Akhet Inundation

MK: Tekhi NK: DHhwty

Tout

Thoth

Djehuty (Thoth)

Early September early October

2nd Akhet Inundation

MK: Menkhet ('Clothing') NK: pa-en-ipet ('The one of Karnak') MK: Khenet HetHert ('Voyage of Het-Hert') NK: Hwt-Hr(w) ('Het-Hert') MK: Nekheb-Kau ('Apportioner of 'kas') NK: kA-Hr-kA ('Ka upon Ka') MK: Shef-bedet ('Swelling of Emmer-wheat') NK: Ta-ahbet ('The Offerings of Mut') MK: Rekeh-Aa ('Big Burning') NK: Pa-en-pamekhru

Paopi

Phaphi

Ptah

Early October early November

3rd Akhet Inundation

Athor

Athyr

3rd Akhet: Festival of Hathor (Dendera & Edfu)

HetHert (Hathor)

Early November early December

4th Akhet Inundation

Khoiak

Khoiak

4th Akhet:Festival of Wesir at Abedjou Festival of Sokar at MenNefer Festival of Sekhmet 1st Peret: Festival of Nehebkau Festival of the Coronation of the Sacred Falcon (Edfu) Festival of Min Festival of the Departure of Mut

Sekhmet

Early December early January

1st Peret Growing

Tobe

Tybi

Mut, Min

Early January early February

2nd Peret Growing

Mechir

Mekheir

2nd Peret: Festival of Victory (Edfu) Great Brand Festival

Aset (Isis)

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Ancient Egyptian Calendar

('The one of the censor') MK: Rekeh-nedjes ('Little Burning') NK: Pa-en-Amenhotep ('The one of Amenhotep')

Early February early March

3rd Peret Growing

3rd Peret: Small Brand Parmhotp Phamenth Festival Festival of Amenhotep

Amun, Amenhotep I

Early March - early April

4th Peret Growing

MK: Renen-wetet (Harvest deity) 4th Peret: PaenRenenutet Parmoute Pharmouthi Festival of Renenutet ('The one of Renenutet') MK: Khonsu (Moon deity) NK: Pa-en-Khonsu ('The one of Khonsu')

Renenutet

Early April early May

1st Shomu Harvest

Pakhons

Pachn

1st Shomu: Festival of Khonsu Khonsu Festival of the Departure of Min

Early May early June

MK: Khenet2nd Shomu KhetyPerti ('KhentekhtaiHarvest perti') A deity. NK: Pa-en-inet ('The one on the wadi') MK: Ipet Hemet ('She whose incarnation is select') NK: Ipi-ipi (derived from Ipet hemet?)

Paone

Payni

2nd Shomu: Heru Beautiful Feast of (Horus) the Valley (Waset)

3rd Shomu Early June - Harvest early July

Epep

Epiphi

3rd Shomu: Festival of the Beautiful Reunion; Wadjet (Hathor & Horus at Dendera & Edfu)

4th Shomu Harvest Middle July

MK: Wepet Ronpet ('Opening of the year') Mesori NK: Mesut-Ra ('Birth of Ra')

Mesore

4th Shomu: Festival of ReHorakhty; Festival of the Opening of the Year (Wep Renpet)

Ra-Horakti

5 Epagomenal Day 1: Days Birthday of (Days Upon Osiris the Year)

Day 2: Birthday of Horus

Day 3: Birthday of Set

Day 4: Birthday of Isis

Day 5: Birthday of Nephtys

Due to the quarter-day discrepancy in a year, some years an extra 6th day was added.

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Ancient Egyptian Calendar

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