Antiquity

Luxor witnesses the solar alignment phenomenon on the Holy of Holies shrine at Karnak Temple on December 21

In one of the most important astronomical phenomena, Luxor witnessed the solar alignment phenomenon on the Holy of Holies shrine at Karnak Temple on December 21.

It is a phenomenon that occurs annually on December 21 to mark the start of the winter solstice.

This day coincides with the beginning of the germination season of the ancient Egyptians, where the crops sprout, the trees are left, the flowers bloom, and the farmers begin the hard work in the fields after the long flood season in which the cranks were idle.

The phenomenon begins with the sun infiltrating through the eastern gate of the temple, casting its rays on the main axis of the temple and entering the Holy of Holies, which was the location of the statue of the deity Amun.

The sun rays illuminate the Holy of Holies for several minutes, before they are spread inside the holy places at midday.

The sun also illuminates the offering tables set up on the same axis of the temple.

This phenomenon was observed in the nineteenth century, but it did not receive any attention until it was focused on recently by archaeologists.

Luxor Governorate celebrated this astronomical phenomenon for the first time in 2012.