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Egyptian painting of dancers and flutists, from the Tomb of Nebamun. (Public Domain)

The Wildest Party in Ancient Egypt- The Festival of Drunkenness (Video)

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In ancient Egypt, amidst the grandeur of pyramids and pharaohs, there existed a unique annual event—the Festival of Drunkenness. This mid-August celebration found its origins in Egyptian mythology, rooted in the complex relationship between gods and humanity. Legend has it that Ra, the sun god, grew disheartened as humans turned cruel and destructive. To quell their violence, Ra dispatched his daughter Hathor, who took on a fearsome form. She embarked on a relentless rampage, and Ra intervened with a clever plan. He concocted a mixture of beer and hematite, resembling human blood, which he spread across the land. Hathor, mistaking it for blood, drank the brew and fell into a drunken slumber, sparing humanity.

The Festival of Drunkenness emerged from this myth. On the 20th day of Thoth (mid-August), Egyptians celebrated by consuming copious amounts of alcohol, emulating Hathor's inebriation. It was unique in that it involved all strata of society, from the poorest to the elite, and individuals celebrated in various ways, from public revelry to private gatherings. The day after the revelry, drummers paraded through the streets, awakening the revelers. Statues of Hathor were carried through the city as people offered prayers and wishes.

Top image: Egyptian painting of dancers and flutists, from the Tomb of Nebamun. (Public Domain)

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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