Festivals of Serapis

The god Serapis is a syncretic deity comprised of Wesir/Osiris and Apis; he also gained attributes from Greek deities such as Hades and Zeus. He became the consort of Isis within the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. To read more about Serapis here is the Wikipedia entry: Serapis.

Festivals to Serapis were called Serapia or Serapieia. During these festivals, Serapis (along with Isis in some cases) was honored with libations, sacrifices and offerings. There is mention of one festival in Alexandria including a procession with torches in his honor. I included some Osirian festivals in the list since the Perpillou-Thomas’s book did the same.

The Egyptian and Classical dates for these festivals are listed below. The Egyptian ones have the number of the days corresponding to the Egyptian month on the calendar and the Classical ones have the Julian dates associated with them. l

I also began my New Year in August. If one begins the New Year in a later month, then Pachons isn’t going to be in April.

Some dates for these festivals are:

3rd Akhet/Hethara/October
17 to 20-Festival of Aset, with the Beautiful Throne (Isis Nepherses)

4th Akhet/Koiak/November
26-Festival of Serapis/Serapia
24 to 29-Mysteries of Wesir

4 Peret/Parmuthi/March
30-Festival of Serapis/Serapia

1 Shomu/Pachons/April
7-Festival of Serapis/Serapia
10-Festival of Serapis/Serapia
mid-Month of April-Festival of Serapis/Serapia
mid-Month of Pachons-Festival of Serapis/Serapia
25 of April-Festival of Serapis/Serapia

Extra Day 1-Birthday of Wesir/Osiris

Sources

Bricault, Laurent. Les Cultes Isiaques Dans Le Monde Greco-romain (La Roue a Livres / Documents Book 66). Les Belles Lettres, 2013. pages 371-375.

Capron, Laurent. “Déclarations fiscales du Temple de Soknopaiou Nêsos: éléments nouveaux,” in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Bd. 165, Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn (Germany). (2008), pp. 133-160.

Perpillou-Thomas, Francoise. Fêtes d’Egypte ptolémaïque et romaine, d’après la documentation papyrologique grecque. (Studia Hellenistica Series 31). Peeters Publishers, 1993. pages 129-136.

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Aset in the Fayyum

Wesir and Aset were honored in the Fayyum as early as the Middle Kingdom and continued through the New Kingdom, Late Period, and Greco-Roman period. Wesir, Aset and Sobek-Heru were honored here as the “Osirian triad” of this region.

The Wilbour papyrus from the XX dynasty mentions a small chapel or temple to Aset called “Per Aset, Mut Netjer” or “House of Aset, Mother of God.” One of Her epithets here was “Aset, the Great, Mother of God.” She was honored here as the mother of Sobek/Heru-sa-Aset and the wife of Wesir.

Sobek was identified with Heru-sa-Aset (as Sobek-Heru or Heru-Sobek) since at least the XII dynasty. There is also evidence for a syncretic deity Sobek-Wesir (Sobek-Osiris) who took the form of a mummified crocodile. There is also a syncretic form of Sobek-Ra-Wesir.

Wesir here is associated with the willow for his regenerative powers via vegetation and for containing his body as his coffin. This may have been a part of the Aset’s mourning for Wesir festivals recorded here. In the Book of the Fayyum it mentions, “Wesir, Foremost of the Land of the Lake, Who comes from Herakleopolis, guided on his path by his sister Aset.”

Aset was also honored at the Soknopaiou Nesos Temple in the Fayyum with the epithets Aset Nepherses (with the Beautiful Throne) and Nephremmis (of the Beautiful Arms). Along with Sobek, She was honored with Heru-sa-Aset and Wesir. She has a couple festivals listed at this temple.

1st Akhet/Thoth/August
19-Procession and Purification of Aset, of the Beautiful Arms (Isis Nephremmis) and Heru-sa-Aset (Harpokrates)

3rd Akhet/Hethara/October
17 to 20-Festival of Aset, with the Beautiful Throne (Isis Nepherses)

4th Akhet/Koiak/November
8 to 17-Festival of the Marriage of Aset, with the Beautiful Throne (Isis Nepherses), the Great Goddess

1 Peret/Tybi/December
1-Festival of the Foundation of the Temple of the Goddess Aset, of the Beautiful Arms (Isis Nephremmis), the Great

2 Peret/Mechir/January
12 to 24-Festival of Roses/Rhodophoria

3 Shomu/Epiphi/June to 4 Shomu/Mesore/July
26 of 3 Shomu to 15 of 4 Shomu-Festival of the Birth of Aset, with the Beautiful Throne (Isis Nepherses), the Great Goddess

4 Shomu/Mesore/July
26 of 4 Shomu to 4 of Extra Days-Festival of the Foundation of the Temple

At Medinat Medi, Aset-Renenutet was honored alongside Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset. Within the Third Greek Hymn of Isidoros, there are two festivals mentioned: 20 of Pachons and Thoth. The hymn mentions to give the gods libations, offerings and sacrifices.

1st Akhet/Thoth/August
20-Feast of Aset-Renenutet, Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset

1 Shomu/Pachons/April
20-Feast of Aset-Renenutet, Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset

Sources

Britcault, Laurent. “Isis Nepherses” in Egyptian Religion: The Last Thousand Years Part 1: Studies Dedicated to the Memory of Jan Quaegebeur. edited by Willy Clarysse, Antoon Schoors and Harco Willems. (Peeters, 1998), 522-527.

Capron, Laurent. “Déclarations fiscales du Temple de Soknopaiou Nêsos: éléments nouveaux,” in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Bd. 165, Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn (Germany). (2008), pp. 133-160.

Vanderlip, Vera Frederika. The Four Greek Hymns of Isidorus and the Cult of Isis. Canada: A. K. Hakkert, 1972.

Zecchi, Marco. “Osiris in the Fayyum.” Fayyum Studies: Volume 2. Sergio Pernigotti and Marco Zecchi, ed. Ante Quem and Dipartimento di Archeologia dell’Università di Bologna, 2006.
pages 122-124; 126-127; 131; 132-133; 133-134; 136;

Aset’s Festivals from Late Antiquity

Here are the Aset (Isis) festivals listed in this book: Bricault, Laurent. Les Cultes Isiaques Dans Le Monde Greco-romain (La Roue a Livres / Documents Book 66). (Les Belles Lettres, 2013), 376-378.

The festival of Aset Pharos (Isis Pharia) does not have a specific date attached to it besides the month of April. Some place it on the 21st of April while others place it on the 25th of April coinciding with the Sarapia (Festival of Sarapis).

The two Isia Festivals (October 28-31; November 1-3) have to do with Aset mourning the death of Wesir (October 28-31) and then rejoicing at finding Him (November 1-3). Isia is also a generic word meaning “Festival of Isis”.

March 5: Navigation of Aset/Isis

March 20: Festival of Peluse (Pelusia)

April 25: Festival of Aset (Isis Pharia)/Sacrum Phariae and Festival of Serapis (Serapia)

August 12: Festival of Lamps (Lychnapsia)

October 28-31: Festival of Aset (Isis)/Isia

November 1-3: Festival of Aset’s Rejoicing/Isia

Reposting Heru-sa-Aset Festivals

So I have this book from the library: Perpillou-Thomas, Francoise. Fêtes d’Egypte ptolémaïque et romaine, d’après la documentation papyrologique grecque. (Studia Hellenistica Series 31). (Peeters Publishers, 1993), 88-89. It has tons of festivals in it from the Ptolemaic and Roman periods of Egypt.

Harpokratia is for Heru-pa-khered or Horus, the child. This festival is associated with Aset/Isis and Wesir/Sarapis at Tebtynis (in the Fayoum) and with Aset/Isis and Pramarres at Soknopaiou Nesos (also in the Fayoum).

11 to 12 of Tybi
Festival of Heru-sa-Aset/Harpokratia

14 of Tybi
Festival of Heru-sa-Aset/Harpokratia

16 of Tybi
Festival of Heru-sa-Aset/Harpokratia

19 of Tybi*
Festival of Heru-sa-Aset/Harpokratia

14 of Mechir
Festival of Heru-sa-Aset/Harpokratia

*The text lists this date with “11 or 12 of Tybi instead of 19 of Tybi”, so I’m guessing this date is also a festival day for this holiday.

Sobek’s Festivals Again

Here are the Sobek Festivals I have found in these sources. I’m including the Sobek festivals I’ve posted previously from the Soknopaiou Nesos Temple in the Faiyum.

Thank you to Sobekemiti for the Sobek Shedety festival!

11 Thoth (1 Akhet)
Festival of Sobek Shedety

7 Hathyr (3 Akhet)
Birth of Sobek, the Great God (19 days)

8 Tybi (1 Peret)
Festival of the Foundation of the Temple of the God Sobek (7 days)

2 Phamenoth (3 Peret)
Festival of the Foundation of the Enclosure of the Great God Sobek (7 days)

21 Payni (2 Shomu)
Festival of the Foundation of the Temple of the God Sobek (7 days)

2 to 9 Epiphi (3 Shomu)
Festival of Sobek/Soucheia

20 of Epiphi (3 Shomu)
Festival of Sobek/Socheia (7 days)

Source:

Capron, Laurent. “Déclarations fiscales du Temple de Soknopaiou Nêsos: éléments nouveaux,” in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. Bd. 165, Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn (Germany). (2008), pp. 133-160.

Link:
Article Link

Perpillou-Thomas, Francoise. Fêtes d’Egypte ptolémaïque et romaine, d’après la documentation papyrologique grecque. (Studia Hellenistica Series 31). Peeters, 1993. (pages 140-144)

Zecchi, Marco. Sobek of Shedet. The crocodile god in the Fayyum in the Dynastic Period. Tau, 2010. (page 129)