A temple Painting showing Ancient Egyptians
celebrating “Wepet Renpet”
(photo: Classroom Synonym)
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Happy Ancient Egyptian New Year!
Last Week, Egypt celebrated with the 6,256th Ancient Egyptian New Year, which is equivalent to the first day of the new agricultural year in Ancient Egypt.
Nearly 7,000 years ago, Ancient Egyptians were among the first nations to celebrate a new year. Ancient Egyptian culture was closely tied to the Nile River, and it appears their New Year celebrations corresponded with its annual flood.
The Egyptian New Year was predicted when “Sirius” (the brightest star in the night sky) first became visible after a 70-day absence, known as a heliacal rise. This phenomenon typically occurred in mid-July just before the annual inundation of the Nile River, which helped ensure that farmlands remained fertile for the coming year.
The ancient civil Egyptian calendar had a year that was 365 days long and was divided into 12 months with 30 days each, in addition to five extra days at the end of the year.
The months were divided into three weeks of ten days each. The ancient Egyptian year was almost a quarter of a day shorter than the solar year which gave rise to the notion of the annus vagus or having it called the “wandering year”.