Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Ancient Egyptian Calendar - Egypt Tours Portal
  • Updated in

The cosmetic order had a vital impact on Egyptian society, the ancient Egyptians understood the value of time and sought to utilize it in every aspect of their life to the maximum extent.

Like everything in Egypt, they were very motivated by their religion and their desire for balance and order.

They realized that knowing the timing of certain events like the flooding of the Nile River can have a huge effect on the life of ancient Egypt.

The annual flooding of the Nile was the bloodstream of ancient Egypt, the main source of nutrition for agriculture and the environment as a whole.

Ancient Egyptian Calendar By Stars

Everything began over 5000 years ago when the ancient Egyptians looked to the stars and realized that the beginning of Akhet (inundation) occurred at the helical rising of the Sirius star (Serpent & Sothis) which corresponded closely to the solar year being only 12 minutes shorter.

It is also noted that the sidereal year was only 12 minutes longer than the tropical year that influenced the flooding and led to the production of 25 days over the recorded history of ancient Egypt.

Mythology & Astronomy

The ancient Egyptian religion and its mythological nature made a connection between Sepdet’s (the star goddess) appearance and the beginning of the Nile flood.

They truly believed that the Nile flood was caused by the tears of the goddess Isis (the Grand Mother of all gods and nature) which she shed after the murder of her husband Osiris (the ruler of the underworld) by his brother Set (the God of war, chaos, and the desert), they believed that Sepdet was the cosmic reflection of Isis.

Ancient Egyptian Calendar System

The first ancient Egyptian calendar centered around the waters that started to rise around the end of June, and the flood period (achet) would last until October, covering the land with rich fertile black mud and preparing it for the farming and growing period (peret).

At the end of February, the harvest time (schemu) started and ended with the new Nile flood that came every 80 days.

This was an ongoing predictable cycle which defined the agricultural life of ancient Egypt.

The entire civil year consisted of these three seasons. Throughout the history of Ancient Egypt, there used to be three calendars, each based on a different system.

First Ancient Egyptian Calendar

The first calendar was used primarily for religious festivals and was based on a 12 lunar months each began on the first day where the old moon crescent wasn’t visible in the east at dawn unlike other civilizations of the early age that have started months with the first sitting of the new crescent.

In order to maintain a link to the helical rising of the serpent, a thirteenth month was intercalated.

Second Ancient Egyptian Calendar

The second calendar dated back to 2900 BCE and consisted of 365 days divided into three seasons each season consists of four months, each month is 30 days.

This came to be after taking a close observation of the helical rising of the serpent.

This calendar was spilled into 12 months of 30 days with an additional five epagomenal days attached at the end of the year.

It was used for administration purposes and was known as a wandering calendar.

Third Ancient Egyptian Calendar

The third calendar which dates back to the fourth century used to match the lunar cycle to the civil year.

The calendar is based on a period of 25 civil years that is very equal to 309 lunar months.

Many reforms to the calendar like the leap year at the beginning of the Ptolemaic dynasty in 239 BCE but it was blocked by the priesthood.

The leap year was a way to fix the gap between the lunar calendar and the public calendar as one day increased every four years so after 1460 years the calendar slipped by a whole year which made it inaccurate so a leap year was added in 23 BCE by the Roman senate.

Months in Ancient Egyptian Calendar

The months of the civil calendar were numbered using their respective seasons and dived into three sections called ‘Decades” each consisting of ten days.

The ancient Egyptians observed the helical rising of stars like Sirius and Orion matched the first day of the 36 successive decades and these stars gained the name decans, during any night a series of twelve decans would rise then used to count the hours.

Days in Ancient Egyptian Calendar

The days in the civil calendar were listed by their respective months, and each day had a specific name in the lunar calendar.

These names were used to recognize the chief phases of the moon.

The days were dived into secular hours whose lengths depended mainly on the time of the years. The ancient Egyptians were the first to divide the day into 24 temporal hours.

They understood that the summer hour was a longer period of daylight than a winter hour.

Time & Hours in Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptian created various ways to measure time like shadow clocks by using the shadow of the bar crossing four marks and the length & position would indicate the time.

They also invented the water clock (clepsydra) due to certain problems with observing the sun and the stars. Water would drop through a small hole in one container to a lower one, the marks on either container used to give a record of hours passed.

Some of the earliest examples of a water clock can be found in the Magical temple of Karnak.

The division of the time was refined by a roman Alexandrian philosopher called Claudius Ptolemaeus by dividing the equinoctial hour into 60 minutes, he also assembled a great catalog of over a thousand stars in 48 constellations which provided an astronomical data in the reform of the Gregorian calendar in 1582.

Not everyone realizes this at first but time is the most valuable currency and the ancient Egyptian understood that from an early age.

Everything in Egypt showcases the manner in which the ancient Egyptians used their time to construct the most enchanting and majestic landmarks in the magical city of Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, and Aswan. You can sail on the timeless Nile River by boarding a Nile cruise through our Egypt tour packages.


Continue Reading About Egypt

2 Al-Azhar Mosque
Egypt Tours Portal
August 10, 2019
3 Egyptian Mummification Process
Egypt Tours Portal
August 10, 2019
4 The Hyksos Invasion
Egypt Tours Portal
August 10, 2019
5 Marsa Alam
Egypt Tours Portal
August 10, 2019
6 Ancient Egyptian Language
Egypt Tours Portal
August 10, 2019
7 How to Spend a Night in Hurghada
Egypt Tours Portal
August 10, 2019
8 The Most Famous Egyptian Mythology Gods and Goddess
Egypt Tours Portal
August 10, 2019
9 Gates of Cairo
Egypt Tours Portal
August 10, 2019

General Tips:

The currency of Egypt is the Egyptian pound.

Friday and Saturday are the official holidays in Egypt.

Keep a tour Guide by your side to fully enjoy your time in Egypt.

Try “Ful & Ta’meya (Fava Beans and Falafel)”, and “Koshary”.

Buy a local SIM card so you can call anyone you want.

Quality Measures:

Professional Egyptologist Tour Guides.

Modern Air-Conditioned Vehicles.

All Accommodations at 5* Hotels and Cruises.

Entrance Fees to All Sites that Mentioned at the Itinerary.

No Hidden Charges or Taxes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

The entire country of Egypt deserve to be seen with its every heavenly detail but there are places that must be seen such as the breathtaking Hurghada's red sea, The wonders of Cairo the pyramids of Giza, the great sphinx, the Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili, the wonders of Luxor like Valley of the Kings, Karnak and Hatshepsut temple and the wonders of Aswan like Abu Simbel temples, Philea temple, Unfinished obelisk and The Wonders of Alexandria like Qaitbat Citadel, Pompey's Pillar and Alexandria Library. Read More About the Best Places to Visit in Egypt

If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries, have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD in cash, as for the E-Visa for 30 day you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could also be one of the lucky ones who can obtain a free visa for 90 days. Read More About Egypt Travel Visa.

Egypt has a variety of delicious cuisines but we recommend “Ful & Ta’meya (Fava Beans and Falafel)”, Mulukhiya, “Koshary”, a traditional Egyptian pasta dish, and Kebab & Kofta, the Egyptian traditional meat dish.

The best time to travel to Egypt is during the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a bit tropical accompanied by a magical atmosphere of warm weather with a winter breeze. You will be notified in the week of your trip if the weather is unsafe and if any changes have been made.

You should pack everything you could ever need and but in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.

We have been creating the finest vacations for more than 10 years around the most majestic destinations in Egypt. Our staff consists of the best operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort make you have the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time consultants to fit your every possible need during your vacation. It doesn't go without saying that your safety and comfort are our main concern priority and all of our resources will be directed to provide the best atmosphere until you return home.

You will feel safe in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is quite peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt. Read More

Wear whatever feels right and comfortable. It is advised to wear something light, sunblock during your time in Egypt in the summer and wear comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the terrain of Egypt.

The best activity is by far boarding a Nile Cruise between Luxor and Aswan or Vise Versa. Witness the beauty of Egypt from a hot balloon or a plane and try all the delicious Egyptian cuisines and drinks plus shopping in old Cairo. Explore the allure and wonders of the red sea in the magical city resorts of Egypt like Hurghada and many more by diving and snorkeling in the marine life or Hurghada. Behold the mesmerizing western desert by a safari trip under the heavenly Egyptian skies.

There are a lot of public holidays in Egypt too many to count either religious or nation, the most important festivals are the holy month of Ramadan which ends with Eid Al Fitr, Christmas and new years eve. Read More

Egypt is considered to be one of the most liberal Islamic countries but it has become a little bit conservative in the last couple of decades so it is advised to avoid showing your chest, shoulders or legs below the knees.

Arabic is the official language and Most Egyptians, who live in the cities, speak or understand English or at least some English words or phrases. Fewer Egyptians can speak French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Professional tour guides, who work in the tourism sector, are equipped to handle visitors who cannot speak Arabic and they will speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of all our clients.

The fastest way is a car, of course, a taxi. If you are in Cairo ride a white taxi to move faster or you could board the fastest way of transportation in Egypt metro if the roads are in rush hour.

The temperature in Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c. Summer in Egypt is somehow hot and winter is cool and mild but sometimes it becomes cold at night. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 °C in the wintertime to 23 °C in the summertime and average high temperatures vary from 17 °C in the wintertime to 32 °C in the summertime. The temperature is moderate all along the coasts.

It is the home of everything a traveler might be looking for from amazing historical sites dating to more than 4000 years to enchanting city resorts & beaches. You will live the vacation you deserve as Egypt has everything you could possibly imagine.

Show More ...

Our Partners