Today marks the ancient Egyptian 'Opening of the Year'
Wishing you Life, Prosperity & Health for the New Year!
Ra-Horakhty - "Horus of the two horizons" - the god of the rising and setting sun
Today is the 1st day of the 1st Season of Akhet and the 1st month Tekh (Thoth, Thuti, Thout, Djwhty) - also known as the 'Opening of the Year' and the birthday of Ra-Horakhty. It also heralds the 1st day of the Coptic New Year (they still use the ancient calendar) and they celebrate The Feast of Nayrouz.
The very early lunar-solar calendar (First Dynasty) of the Egyptians was based on the heliacal rising of the star Sirius, which coincided with the inundation. The ancient Egyptian civil calendar was made up of 365 days divided into 12 months comprising 30 days each. To make up the extra five days (or six in a leap year), these were tacked onto the end of the year and known as epagomenal days or the intercalary 13th month Pi Kogi Enavot (‘the little month’). This comes from the myth of Thoth being credited as the creator of the 365 day calendar. Originally the year was only 360 days long and because Nut the sky goddess was sterile during these days and unable to bear children, Thoth gambled with Khonsu, the moon, for 1/72nd of its light which was equivalent to 5 days. Thoth won his game and with these extra 5 days he allowed Nut to give birth to her five children Kheru-ur (Horus the Elder), Osiris, Set, Isis, and Nepthys.
The 365 days were separated into three seasons – with four months in each season: Axt/Ahket - the Season of Inundation (autumn) Prt/Peret - the Season of Emergence (winter) Smw/Shemu - the Season of the Harvest (summer- low water, dry season) Coptic Christians modernly celebrate the feast of Nayrouz (the feast of the Season of Inundation) by the eating of red dates and guavas. The dates are eaten because their 'red colour represents the blood of the martyrs, their white centre symbolises the purity of the martyrs’ hearts, and their solid seeds represent their strong faith. The guava’s white core also symbolises the martyrs’ purity'...According to an article (see link below) the word 'Nayrouz' is of Coptic origin. Believed to be derived from 'Ne-yarou', meaning 'rivers'. Later, the letter 'r' was substituted with 'l' and the word became 'Neylou', which after Arabic occupation eventually became the word we are familiar with now - 'Nile'. (for more info see http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/09/12/nayrooz-feast-happy-coptic-new-year/)
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