Ancient Egypt Lesson for Kids: Festivals & Holidays

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Nola Bridgens

Nola has taught elementary school and tutored for four years. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a master's degree in Marketing, and is a certified teacher.

Do you like to eat amazing food and play games with all your friends? Ancient Egyptians enjoyed celebrating festivals and having feasts often. This lesson will discuss some of the most popular festivals and holidays of ancient Egypt. Updated: 12/24/2021

Ancient Egyptian Festivals

The ancient Egyptians enjoyed celebrating a number of holidays and festivals throughout the year. They celebrated with games, large food banquets, and parties. Many of their festivals were based upon either the timing of the lunar calendar or the flooding of the Nile river.

The ancient Egyptians liked to pay respects to the gods that they believed kept watch over them and allowed them to grow new crops each year. This lesson will discuss the three most popular festivals: Wepet Renpet, the Festival of Opet, and the Festival of Khoiak.

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  • 0:04 Ancient Egyptian Festivals
  • 0:37 Wepet Renpet
  • 1:24 The Festival of Opet
  • 2:26 Festival of Khoiak
  • 3:06 Lesson Summary
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Wepet Renpet

What's your favorite thing to do on New Year's Eve? Watch fireworks or have a party? The ancient Egyptians also celebrated New Year's and they called it Wepet Renpet, meaning ''the opener of the year.''

Unlike here in the United States, the Egyptian New Year was not on the same day each year. It corresponded with the annual flood of the Nile River, which occurred around July. They were able to predict when it was coming by watching the stars.

When Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, became visible after not being seen for 70 days, they knew the annual Nile flood would be there soon. Wepet Renpet was a symbol of renewal and rejuvenation and a time for great celebration and feasts, which are large meals in celebration of something.

The Festival of Opet

Have you ever wished to attend a three-week-long party? That's how long the Festival of Opet was in ancient Egypt. The Festival of Opet was a celebration of three Egyptian gods and it took place in the second month of the year in the city of Thebes. The people of Egypt had great feasts during the Festival of Opet.

One of the traditions of this festival is that the ancient Egyptians would carry the statues of three Egyptian gods almost two miles from the temple of Amun to the temple of Luxor. Can you imagine carrying heavy statues that far?

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