Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Participants in these ceremonies were first and foremost the family, but also friends, and the banquets were intended to celebrate with the deceased and served as a form of solace for the bereaved. Other deceased family members were included in the celebration and rituals. The drinking of alcohol and the use of narcotic substances might have facilitated the communication with the ancestors. Remains of these banquets are hardly detectable, mostly because in early excavations the courtyards of tombs were cleared without documenting the finds. In a few cases in more recent excavations, artifact assemblages related to mortuary and presumably ancestor cult and feasting have been found.

“Feasts for the Dead and Ancestor Veneration in Egyptian Tradition”, Miriam Muller, in In Remembrance of Me: Feasting with the Dead in the Ancient Middle East, edited by Virginia Rimmer Herrmann and J. David Schloen

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Life Advice from Ancient Egypt

Egyptian instructional literature advises the individual to have fun as a child, then to get an education and find employment and, finally, to find a spouse and start a family. If the marriage does not work out, the person is advised to get a divorce and find another, more compatible, companion. Among the other admonitions in the Egyptian literature are do not lie or steal, honor your mother and father, care for and respect the aged, and show up for your job (but it is all right to cheat a little on the “time card”). Live a modest life – do not be a braggart, do not start fights, beware of prostitutes (they will “cut your purse”), and be obedient to your superiors. In addition, appearance and grooming were an important concern and investment for the ancient Egyptians.

Religion and Ritual in Ancient Egypt, Emily Teeter

Harper’s Songs

So let your heart be strong,
let these things fade from your thoughts.
Look to yourself,
and follow your heart’s desire while you live!

Put myrrh on your head,
be clothed in fine linen,
Anoint yourself with the god’s own perfumes,
heap up your happiness,
and let not your heart become weary.

Hymns, Prayers, and Songs: An Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Poetry, trans. John L. Foster. Papyrus Harris 500.

“Weary of Heart”, a title of/reference to Wesir, is a euphemism for death.