Fourth Aswan festival celebrates solar illumination of Egypt's Abu Simbel
Ahram Online, , Friday 19 Feb 2016
Aswan International Festival for Arts and Culture is one of the biggest cultural events held in Upper Egypt

Artists and musicians from eight different countries are participating in the fourth Aswan International Festival for Arts and Culture, which opened on Wednesday and runs until 23 February.

The festival falls on one of the two dates each year (22 October and 22 February) when the rays of the sun beam into the Abu Simbel sanctuary, illuminating the sculptures in a unique way.

Ancient Egyptian beliefs incorporating the god Ptah and the underworld found inspiration in the solar phenomenon..

Today, though disconnected from ancient religions, the dates continue to be marked with festivities as the locals observe the movements of the sunlight inside the temple.

Over six days, Aswan governorate will present Egyptian and international folk art troupes at the festival.

This year the participating countries are Greece, Tunisia, Romania, China, Ethiopia, Uganda, and for the first time, India.

Local performances will include troupes from Aswan, Alexandria, Ismailia, and Arish.

The festival includes an array of activities including street performances, concerts, and presentation of folkloric items.

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