Tag Archives: Festivals of the World

Terminalia: Honoring Boundaries

Environmental Art 2017 wall calendar

Image from our Environmental Art 2017 wall calendar. PaperBridge © Steve Messam / stevemessam.co.uk.

In ancient Rome, February 23 marked the end of the year and became a time to honor Terminus, the god of boundaries. Neighbors met at the boundary stones between their properties, with women bringing torches ignited on their hearths, sons bringing baskets of produce from the property, and daughters bringing special honey cakes.

The women kindled twin altar fires made of neatly interlaced sticks. The sons held their baskets over the fires, and the girls shook them three times to scatter their contents into the flames, then fed the cakes to the fire. Employees stood by dressed in white, wine in hand. Continue reading

Abu Simbel Festival — Celebrating the Sun in Egypt

Image by Alice Kelley from our Fractal Cosmos 2016 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

Image by Alice Kelley from our Fractal Cosmos 2016 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

As a calendar company, we love learning more about holidays and celebrations around the world. Today, February 22, is the Abu Simbel Festival in Cairo Egypt.

This festival celebrates the two days of the year on which the light of the rising sun can reach the 180-foot deep innermost chambers of Abu Simbel, the great temple of Ramses II, in Egypt. The temple was designed so that only on two days—February 22 and October 22—does the sun shine on the four gods in the sanctuary: Ptah, Amen-Re, Ramses, and Re-Horakhty. This temple, the most colossal in Egypt, was built by Ramses II between 1300 and 1233 B.C.E., and is famous for its four 65-foot statues of the seated Ramses. It is actually two temples—one for Ramses and one for queen Nefertiti—and is extraordinary for its grandeur, beauty, and history. It was unknown to the European world until Swiss explorer Johann Burckhardt found it in 1812. The Italian Giovanni Belzoni excavated the entrance and explored the temple in 1816. In 1964, when the new Aswan Dam was to be built, creating a lake that would have drowned the temple, it was cut into 2,000 pieces and reassembled at a site about 180 feet higher. Continue reading