Running way behind.
So the thing about Egyptian religion is that, from the point of view of the common man, the stuff they got to participate in outside their household were the festivals. The daily cultus of the deities in the temples was under the purview of the priests, and regular folks were not invited.
Which means that I think it's kind of important to figure out what to do for those festivals, the things that people like me would be regularly participating in. And that's not a simple question.
Some of the festivals, as is the case for pretty much all religions, were seasonally based. And the Egyptian seasons were different. There were three of them - Akhet, apparently meaning 'horizon', the flood season; Peret, meaning 'emergence', the planting and growth season (often translated, I've found, as 'winter'), and 'Shomu', which means 'low water', the harvest and parching summer season. While that hot summer season significantly overlaps the Northern Hemisphere's temperate season of summer, note that that winds up putting the planting and farming season starting around the time that Wheel of the Year celebrating pagans mark the harvest and the dead at Samhain.
There are ways of thinking about this, but they do require thinking.
There's also the problems of building the calendar itself. The oldest festival calendar appears to have been lunar, and thus structured similarly to the modern Jewish calendar. However, at some point after the establishment of the civil calendar (a 365-day year), festivals started to 'drift' and attach to that. So that raises the question of whether a given date refers to the civil calendar or the religious lunar calendar or, indeed, the later lunar calendar that was attached to the civil calendar rather than observations of the stars.... And how does one want to do it? My current draft calendar is basically a civil-year calendar. I don't like that, and I want to update it at least somewhat, but that's a lot of work - and I haven't really wanted to go to the work to hand-calculate every month, so that's work I'm not doing. Maybe someday I'll find a computer program that will do the grinding for me, and then I can make a shiny new webpage for that.
And then, of course, what to do for each of those festivals, which - in ancient times - were celebrated by the state apparatus, often had governmental activity, involved interactions between active great temples, and so on. Finding something that can be done simply, at home or in a small community, is a lot harder.
22 March, 2012
Running way behind.