1000 tourists flock to Egypt to witness an ancient event

MENA, Tuesday 22 Feb 2011

Twice a year the face Ramses II’s statue is directly lit by sunlight through his temple. Despite Egypt’s political turmoil many tourists were present for the phenomena

Ramsis II

One thousand tourists gathered in one of the largest archaeological sites in Egypt, Abu Simbel, to attend the unique event of the sun shining directly on the face of the Ramses II's statute in his temple. This is a rare engineering and astronomical phenomenon that occurs only twice a year, specifically on 22 October and 22 February of every year.

Tourists enjoyed national songs, music and shows presented by the Aswan and Toshka folk bands in the temple's court. Also in attendance were Mohamed Mostafa, general secretary of the Aswan Governorate; Asaad Abdel-Meguid, head of Abu Simbel the city; a number of youth from the January 25 Revolution as well as residents of the city, who were allowed free entry for the occasion.

According to Ahmed Saleh, head of Abu Simbel archaeological site, the sun began to shine 20 past 6 in the morning and lasted for 21 minutes, signalling the beginning of the month of Shamu, which is the start of reaping season, according to ancient Egyptians.

The Secretary General highlighted that it's a great opportunity to bring back tourists and that everything was orderly.

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