Thursday, 7 July 2011

Calendar Entry #24: Feast of Ptah

We continue our journey through the Cauldrons Calendar feast/festival/holidays.

A Feast of Ptah, in his feast of 'lifting the sky,' has been known to have been celebrated in Memphis as well as Deir el-Medina at around the same time. There have been many references to this feast, including a work journal from Deir el-Medina that referred to the Feast of Ptah as the 'Great Feast'.

The main sanctuary of Ptah was in Memphis, where he was revered as Ptah 'South of the White Walls'. There were many places of worship for Ptah in Thebes, including a temple dedicated to him just north of Karnak. He was also one of the most popular deities in Deir el-Medina. The rock sanctuary on the road to the Valley of the Queens was the main sanctuary for him, where he was 'Ptah of the Beautiful Place.'

I have not been able to find out specifics about rituals, processions or practices that took place during this Feast, although royal artisans celebrated it by making offerings to him in the Valley of the Kings. Additionally there is speculation that grain offerings given just prior to the feast may have been made into beer for the offerings during the feast.

Ptah is the principal deity of the Memphite Triad of Ptah, his wife Sekhmet and their son Nefertem. He is credited with having created the universe and has been linked to Sokar and Osiris, as Ptah-Sokar. He is usually depicted in paintings in mummiform, which isn't to suggest death, but deathlessness. It suggests he was eternal, never changing and fixed in his significance and endurance.

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