Chapter 15 - The Feast of Horus

Holy Festivals

The Egyptians, as you may have realised, were religion-mad. Not only did they have daily prayers and offerings to their many gods, they had special ceremonies - feasts, festivals, processions, and so on - for many days of the year. These were not only holy, solemn occasions - they were excuses for having a good time. Egyptian feasts included lots of wine, beer and general drunkenness, singing and music, dressing up, wearing perfume and incense, dancing, chatting, and doubtless plenty of flirting. Egyptian women and men went to a lot of trouble to look good - see my section on clothes, perfume, make-up and wigs.

There are lots of images of such feasts in tombs - although these are usually funeral banquets. In the picture right we see a slave girl serving wine to some ladies. The ladies are wearing incense cones on their heads - these melted during the evening to coat their wigs in pungent incense. Some Egyptologists, however, say it is unlikely that rich ladies would have wanted to get goose fat all over the wigs, so maybe the picture is just an artistic way of showing that they were wearing incense.


My copy of images from the tombs of Nakht and Nebamun, showing musicians, ladies, flowers, and offerings at the funeral feast


Scene from the tomb of Nebamun showing clappers, flute player, and dancers


Information on the god Horus