22 February 2018

Egypt: Sun Illuminates Face of Ramses II in Aswan for 20 Minutes

Sun on Thursday 22/2/2018 illuminated the face of Ramses II sanctuary in the Abu Simbel temple in south Aswan for 20 minutes in a rare phenomenon that takes place twice a year.

For most of the year, the inner sanctum of the main temple at Abu Simbel is shrouded in darkness.

The phenomenon started at 6:25 am and continued for nearly 20 minutes.

Led by Ministers Rania el Mashat of Tourism and Khaled el Anani of Antiquities, over 3,000 tourists and Egyptians gathered at Abu Simbel temple to watch the alignment of the sun on King Ramses II's face.

On February 22, a day celebrating the king's birthday and again on October 22, a day celebrating his coronation, sunlight illuminates seated statues of the sun gods Re-Horakhte and Amon-Re, as well as a statue of king Ramses II. The statues sit in the company of the Theban god of darkness, Ptah (who remains in the shadows all year).

MENA

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