Abu Simbel Events and Festivals
(Abu Simbel, Egypt)
The temples of Abu Simbel are the main reason that tourists flock to this part of Egypt and the area's main festivals and historical events relate to the Temple of Ramses ll (Ramesses). Twice a year, the temple is a source of major excitement, when the strong sunlight penetrates the temple's inner sanctuary and illuminates the four statues of the gods, which reside deep within the temple.
This huge event is always a crowd puller in Abu Simbel and takes place on February 22nd and again exactly eight months later, on October 22nd. Crowds of eager visitors to Abu Simbel gather inside the chapel just before the break of dawn, so that they can witness the shafts of sunlight slowly creeping some 60 metres / 200 feet until the statues are effectively spotlight in the acclaimed natural phenomena.
Abu Simbel Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015
Interestingly, when the Temple of Ramses ll was moved to their new location in Abu Simbel in the 1960s, the actual dates of the ascension were slightly displaced by one day and originally took place on February 21st and October 21st. These dates were always thought to have been the ascension of Ramses II to the throne and his actual birthday, respectively. However, there is actually no evidence to support these actual dates.
At the time of the Ascension of Ramses II (also known as the 'Solstice' or 'Solar' events), huge crowds join in the festival celebrations outside of the temple, where there is plenty of music, dancing and food for everyone.
Abu Simbel / Egypt National Public Holidays
- New Year's Day - January 1st
- Coptic Christmas - January
- Coptic Easter - March / April
- Sham an-Nessim - March / April
- Sinai Liberation Day - April 25th
- May Day - May 1st
- Liberation Day - June 18th
- Revolution Day - July 23rd
- Wafa'a el-Nil - August 15th
- Coptic New Year - September
- Armed Forces Day - October 6th
- Suez Victory Day - October 24th
- Victory Day- December 23rd