Egyptian governmental ministers, officials, and some 3,000 tourists on Monday celebrated on sun alignment above the Ramses II statue at the Abu Simbel temple in Aswan governorate, southern Egypt.
Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany, Tourism Minister Rania al-Mashat, Culture Minister Enas Abdel-Dayem, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali and Aswan Governor Ahmed Ibrahim attended a dinner party at the Abu Simbel temple on Sunday evening as part of celebrations for the sun alignment.
The ceremony was attended by ambassadors from Belgium, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sweden, China, Spain, Jordan, Lithuania, as well as a delegation from UNESCO.
The Aswan governorate, in collaboration with the General Authority for Cultural Palaces, organized a concert in Abu Simbel city amidst a large crowd of tourists and visitors, reaching more than 3,000.
Participants enjoyed various artistic performances presented by six folklore bands from Alexandria, Assiut, Luxor, New Valley and Aswan.
Sunlight illuminates seated statues of the sun gods Re-Horakhte and Amon-Re, as well as a statue of king Ramses II twice a year; on February 22, a day celebrating the king’s birthday and again on October 22, a day celebrating his coronation.
The statues sit in the company of the Theban god of darkness, Ptah, who remains in shadow all year.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm