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Scenes of the Opet Feast
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About Scenes of the Opet Feast




The relief on both long walls of the colonnade of Amenhotep the Third at the Luxor Temple shows the Opet feast in detail.

The Opet feast is the ceremony marking the annual journey of the barks, or small ships, that carry the statues of Amun-Re, Mut, and Khonsu, together called the Theban Triad, from the Temple at Karnak to the Luxor Temple. The ceremonies lasted for ten days during which the gods' barks left their sanctuaries in Karnak in the second month of the flood season and traveled to Luxor. Ten days later they returned to Karnak. The feast was intended to mark the rejuvenation of Amun-Re and, thus, the king himself, as well as guarantee the world's order through offerings, ceremonies, and rituals performed during the feast days.

The scenes follow a sequence that begins at the northwestern corner of the colonnade and ends on the northeastern corner. Tutankhamun is shown in Karnak, burning incense and making libations and offerings of flowers to Amun and the sacred images of the gods.

The barks are then carried from the pylon, or temple gateway, of Amenhotep the Third, which is the third pylon at Karnak, to the river. The barks are towed southward to the Luxor Temple. Standard bearers, high officials, soldiers, and musicians including drummers and trumpeters, chanteuses, dancing Nubians, and women with rattles accompany the barges.

When they reach the Luxor Temple, charioteers, soldiers, dancers, musicians, offering bearers, and butchers, who will sacrifice oxen, receive them. The barks are taken up again by the priests between sacrificial offerings and performances of acrobatic dancers and musicians until they reach their stands inside the sanctuaries.

The scenes on the eastern wall show the return of the procession from the Luxor Temple to Karnak.

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