Festival of Mut

I have in my calendar for Thursday “Great Feast of Mut”, and of course I have made my life marginally more complicated by not noting that that’s not a specific name I had in my references. (Ha ha ha, given the last post and all.)

This one is set by the Cairo Calendar as found in Brier’s Ancient Egyptian Magic, and my notes have it recorded in the spreadsheet as “Festival of Mut in Shera (Karnak lake), feed her and followers”. According to Barbara Lesko in The Great Goddesses of Egypt, this feast day was apparently sufficiently splendid to give rise to a common given name that translates “Mut-in-her-bark”, but I found nothing else.

There is a Feast of the Gods listed in the Esna calendar also on 3 Shomu 29. Karnak, according to Wikipedia, was some 2.5 kilometers north of Luxor; Esna, 55 kilometers south. Thus, the comparative local-ness of these festivals and their name similarities suggests to me they’re probably related in some way. The Esna temple is one of the latest surviving calendars – but yet it appears to me to have an oblique reference to Mut, the sovereign person embodying the particulars of royal authority:

29th day of the 3rd month of Summer:
Feast of the gods, on the occasion of the feast of her Majesty performing the ritual which concerns them, taking 3 days.

Temple Festival Calendars of Ancient Egypt, El-Sabban

“Her Majesty” seems to me in this context to be a statement about Mut, possibly an attenuated one by that stage in history, Who is clearly the host of this ritual and feast for the other gods. Possibly She took them on a catered yacht outing.

So I search out my Brier and pull the full quote from the Cairo calendar:

Very favorable

Today is the festival of Mut in Shera [the lake at the Temple of Karnak]. It is the day of feeding the gods and her followers.

Not actually informative, really.

In any case, my best guess for an appropriate mark for this festival in my current state of lack of research is to act as host to invited Powers, presiding over the feast as a royal lady would do, with whatever full protocols and entertainments that would muster.

Possibly also on a boat.

(Sometimes the research is really informative, sometimes it’s “better luck next year”.)


One thought on “Festival of Mut

  1. SatAset says:

    The Temple Lake at Karnak (and at some other temples) were called Isheru (which I think is what Shera is supposed to mean here).

    Mut has her own myths about the Distant Goddess and when She returned she would be bathed in the Lake of Isheru to appease Her rage. I’m pretty sure She leaves as Sekhmet and/or Bast here.

    And I’m recalling some processions around Isheru for Mut during Opet or the Valley feast. I’m also remembering a lamp festival for Mut that involved the Isheru lake. I think all of this is in Lesko’s book on Egyptian Goddesses. And I have some articles on Mut if you are interested.

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