Sun aligns with Karnak Temple: a glimpse of ancient Egypt’s glory

The Luxor governorate is celebrating the annual solar alignment phenomenon at the Karnak temple on Thursday, December 21.

At the Karnak complex, the sun aligns with three major temples, allowing the sun’s rays to penetrate and enter the Column Hall.

This event aligns with the official onset of winter, a time recognised by the ancient Egyptians as the season of germination.

The event also highlights the ancient Egyptians’ astrological expertise, as they were able to accurately calculate the sun’s movement and the motion of other celestial bodies.

Ayman Abu-Zaid, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Egyptian Society for Tourism, Cultural, and Archaeological Development in Luxor, stated that the sun alignment reaches its maximum angular degree from the equator’s level and aligns perpendicularly with the Tropic of Capricorn.

He explained that people observe this phenomenon each year on December 21 or 22, the days when daylight is shortest and nighttime is longest. On these days, the sun reaches its lowest altitude at noon on the horizon.

Abu-Zaid further stated that this yearly event showcases the architectural marvels of the ancient Egyptians. They constructed temples to face the sun, ensuring that at this particular time, the Karnak and Deir al-Bahari temples align perpendicularly with the face of the Amun. This alignment signifies a special celebration for the deity.



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