The Cyclical Renewal Festivals
The main theme of the Ancient Egyptian texts is the cyclical nature of the universe and the constant need for the renewal of such cycles through well-designated festivals.
The Egyptians viewed/view these festivals as part of human existence, which constitutes the rhythm of the life of the community and of the individual. This rhythm results from the order of cosmic life.
The renewal and rejuvenation of the life of the cosmos, of the community, and of the individual are affected by rites. These rites had/have the power to bring about the rejuvenation and rebirth of divine life. Failure to hold the festivals at the appropriate dates and times might very well produce individual or collective sentiments of culpability. As such, the Egyptian festivals came to have the function of enactments of cosmological (religious) renewals.
Most of the Egyptians not only expect a blessing to follow their participation, but they also dread that some misfortune will befall them if they neglect this act.
The aim of the Egyptian festivals was (and continues to be) the rejuvenation and renewal of the cosmic energies. During the numerous Ancient Egyptian religious festivals, the participants fall back on the archetypal truth of their cosmic consciousness (As above so below, and as below so above). Every holy festival actualizes the archetypal holy cycle. These holy cycles have become part of the calendar. More accurately, the calendar served to indicate when the cosmological powers (neteru/gods) were manifested, and their renewal cycles. All early Greek and Roman writers affirmed these Ancient Egyptian cosmic correlations, such as Plutarch, in his Moralia Vol. V (377,65):
… They [the Egyptians] associate theological concepts
with the seasonal changes in the surrounding atmosphere,
or with the growth of the crops and seed-times and plowing.
All the elements and rules governing the Ancient Egyptian festivals are exactly applicable to present-day festivals with organized and detailed schemes. Baladi Egyptians continue to consider the festivals and their rituals as the climax of their religious practices, which are very critical to the order and harmony of the cosmos and, by extension, the well-being of one and all.
All present-day festivals (except for Mohammed’s and those of his immediate family) are a continuation of Ancient Egyptian festivals, camouflaged under Islamic names.
The official annual number of festivals (mouleds) in present-day Egypt, even though they are contrary to Islam, is estimated at more than 3,000. There is not a single day in Egypt without a mouled somewhere, and the participation is very profound. The major Autumn mouled of elBadawi is attended by more than two million people and each of the other two mouleds are attended, respectively, by more than one million visitors.
All this is indicative of the Baladi Egyptians’ adherence by the millions to their ancient traditions.
[An excerpt from Egyptian Mystics : Seekers of The Way ,2nd edition by Moustafa Gadalla]
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