Abu Simbel Sun Festival

 

Ramses II built his temple at Abu Simbel so that the internal chamber would light up two times a year: once on the anniversary of his ascension to the throne (in February, around the 22nd), and once on his birthday (in October, around the 22nd). Every year on the Sun Festival, crowds gather before sunrise to observe the stream of light gradually sneaking through the stone and enlightening the statuettes of Ramses, Ra, and Amun in the central chamber. Only the statue of Ptah – the god of darkness – remains in the shade even on these two special days of the year!

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