Every year at Luxor was a new beginning. Literally.
Each year Luxor Temple played host to ancient Egypt's biggest celebration: the Festival of the Opet.
In a colourful and noisy procession, the sacred barques of Amun, Mut and Khonsu sailed upriver to from Karnak to Luxor.
But for all the music and dancing that accompanied the flotilla, this was serious business. At stake was the future of not only the divine kingship, but all of creation.
Luxor Temple was "the place of the First Occasion", and the heady culmination of the annual Opet Festival were the sacred rituals that delivered a rush of vitality to the king and the gods.
It was here that the god Amun, and hence all of creation, was renewed. And it was here that the pharaoh's divine kingship—the royal 'ka'—was reborn.
Now, with a reenergised creator god, and a renewed divine mandate for the king, harmony was restored—for 12 months anyway.
Pictured is the Court of Ramesses II at Luxor Temple. Ramesses wasn't afraid to take the whole "renewal" concept a step further. Of the 11 surviving standing colossi in the court, five were originally carved two centuries earlier for Amenhotep III. In the spirit of renewal, Ramesses had the features recut to match his own.
This stunning photo of the Court of Ramesses II was created by Chris Youd.
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