Far from troubled Cairo, in Abu Simbel on February 22, one of the wonders of Egyptian civilization is going to happen again in front of thousands of visitors. Abu Simbel, the last station visited the Egyptian Nile and the famous temple attracts millions of visitors each year. Every October and February, however, a natural wonder occurs, highlighting the art, for many the magic of this great civilization.
The interior of the main temple of Abu Simbel, the greater part of the year is wrapped in darkness. However, two specific days of the year, on the anniversary birthday and the coronation of pharaoh Ramses II, a beam of sunlight pierces the darkness, illuminating statues of gods and the king inside the sanctuary. This year on February 22, the birthday of the king, the sunlight will illuminate the statues of gods and Horakhte Amon Re, and a statue of King Ramses II.
Thousands of visitors from around the world will travel to Abu Simbel to watch live this strange spectacle. Essentially it is a well studied natural phenomenon, since the church has been placed with such precision architecture, that the rays of the sun are aligned twice a year and brighten the interior.
This incredible natural phenomenon, some 3000 years later, offers a spectacular sight, which has turned into a great celebration, called The Festival of the Sun. The church changed its position in 1972, after which there was originally built because its foundations were threatened by erosion.
View more here: What to see in Egypt! A mystifying travel destination!.
By Nicole P.
Abu Simbel photos: Joan Ariza Poveda, Tamer El Badry, sparkle hayter, Guillem Rico.