Comparison between Egyptian and Chinese festivals
|Criteria||Egyptian Festivals||Ancient Chinese Festivals|
|Religious Role||- Most of the festivals in Egypt were cultic, rather than civil
- They honored and paid tribute to local gods
- The end of the Egyptian religion with the introduction of Christianity, meant an end to all ancient festivals
|- Traditional festivals were important civil events in the life of every Chinese
- Festivals are one of the strongest bonds reinforcing the cultural identity of the Chinese people, regardless of any religious changes over the centuries.
- Ancient ceremonies are still alive in modern China
|Calendar||- Seasonal festivals were anchored to the agricultural cycle and followed the solar calendar||- The Chinese Festivals occur throughout the Lunar year, they fall on different seasons each year|
|Organization||- Nomes had their own local festivals to honor their gods - there were a few festivals that were known throughout the entire country
- Priests were responsible for the organization of these sacred festivals according to strict religious rules and traditions
- Common people had little role in festival activities, and could only participate as spectators
- For major festivals, the economic support of the Pharaoh was required.
|- National festivals celebrated though the whole country for many centuries
- People shaped the main events of their festivals, taking the main active role in them.
|Important Festivals||- The Festival of Sokar - Known from the Old Kingdom, it
honored the cult of Osiris at Memphis,
and was celebrated in the fourth month of the Egyptian calendar, lasting for six days
- The Festival of Opet - Honoring the cult of Amun at Thebes, during the New Kingdom, the celebration of Opet was predominate
- The Sed festival - these are jubilees celebrated after a Pharaoh had held the throne for thirty years and then every three years after that. They were primarily held to rejuvenate the Pharaoh's strength and stamina while he was still sitting on the throne.
|- The Spring or New Year Festival - the most important of the traditional festivals, it begins on the first day of the first lunar month
- The Lantern Festival - everyone carries colorful lanterns and gathers in a public place to have a lantern fair.
- The Dragon Boat Festival - commemorates the date that an ancient poet committed suicide by jumping into the Milou River
|Celebration||- A Religious procession was the focus of the ceremony.
- People watched the temple life only at the great festivals, in which the image of a god was carried out of the temple, and transported by boat across larger distances.
- The movement of a temple image offered closer access to divinity, the festival procession was the moment at which ordinary people could present a yes-no question to the god in front of the boat-shrine
- Secular Chinese festivals include common elements such as a desire for happiness and well-being, the warding off of misfortune, experiencing a connection between man and heaven
- Visits to relatives and friends and dancing
- New clothes are worn.
- Eating rice dumplings which symbolize family unity
- In the New Year, the color red is liberally used in all decorations. Red packets are given to juniors and children by the married and elders
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