Back when I read Parker’s book on the calendars of ancient Egypt (available for download from the Oriental Institute here,by the way) I came away with the impression that at one point in time, each month may have begun with a festival upon its first day and/or each month had a festival connected with the month itself. (File this as ‘fixed in next version’, for some values of the calendar.)
My calendar notes for the first day of 4 Shomu are very interesting. (Edited to add: this year, falling on 30 June.) The Cairo calendar has it as a day for making abet-offerings for those in heaven, and a feast for Wennefer, which is of course a title of Wesir. Ramesses’s temple in Abydos likewise marks a festival of Wennefer. Kom Ombo West says ‘Appearance of the Standard of Heru’. The large Edfu calendar, Hathor Edfu calendar, and large Hathor calendar at Dendera all say “Feast of Her Majesty”. The short Dendera calendar says “Feast of Hathor”.
Now, I ponder the potential relevance of relating this to the Festival of Mut from two days before, where I suggested that the festival in which ‘her majesty’ performs rites for the gods might be a reference to Mut’s boating expedition – and indeed that note in Esna is for a festival lasting three days, which would thus conclude here. However, when I compiled my original notes into a draft calendar, it was without benefit of additional research, and I simply marked this date as “Offerings to the Westerners and the Lady of the West”.
But perhaps it is “Offerings to the Westerners By the Lady of the West”. In any case, regardless of all other things: the Westerners and the Foremost of Westerners are receiving feasts on this day, perhaps under the royal authority of Hetharu (and perhaps this ties in the appearance of the standard of Heru? sketchy, but plausible, if one wants to combine across various timeframes in the expectation that there is some thread of consistency involved).
If this is the conclusion of a three day festival kicked off by Mut’s boating party, then that celebration of the temporal presence and honoring of the gods by the living and corporeal royal authority changes over the course of that three days, and shifts its focus Westwards, into the Duat. Royal authority in the seen world (as represented by Mut) emerges from the Duat, from the chain of ancestors and ultimately from Wesir Wennefer, the good and just, and the offerings of a mortal feast must extend, over time, into the immortal realms.
This is all ass-pull, of course. I’m making it all up, from a few scraps of thoughts. But I think, from here, it makes sense.
Anyone got any references for what the hell an abet-offering might be?