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Ancient Egyptian Entertainment: Parties & Festivals

By Yona Williams    9/28/06

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Ancient Egyptians were real partiers. They really knew how to throw a party, which was mostly common among wealthier residents. They enjoyed entertaining their friends by holding an elaborate get-together. The tables were filled with plenty of food to eat and participants always had enough to drink. The main types of beverages that partygoers could help themselves to was beer and wine. Not only was a party a popular form of entertainment, there was also an array of different performers to keep audiences engaged and happy.


Singers were present to provide melodic popular songs of the time, stretching their vocals throughout the night. Dancers performed the latest movements and encouraged others to join in the fun. Contorting their bodies and displaying exciting displays of nimbleness and agility, acrobats soared through the air, as well as covered a lot of ground. Of course, a party wasn’t a party without the music, which kept all guests moving about, chatting and admiring other dancers on the floor. Music played an important aspect throughout the ancient Egyptian culture. This meant that they provided the tunes with a host of various instruments. Some of the musical instruments that were quite popular during this time was the lute, harp, and the lyre.  


When it came to how the younger generation of ancient Egyptians kept themselves entertained, there were an array of games that kept them busy. Just like today, board games were a popular form of socializing and having fun. Instead of Chutes and Ladders, the Egyptians had Hounds & Jackals. Another board game common during this time was called Senet. There were also many different toys that kids kept handy during these times. One of the most common toys was fashioned from ivory, which displayed a carved appearance. Another favored toy were wooden horses that were pulled on wheels. And let’s not forget about the usual standby that has followed children throughout the years, no matter what time period they are part of: the ball.


Ancient Egyptians found great fun when holding festivals. Most festivals were brought about to celebrate various holidays. Most of these holidays were established to honor the various gods and goddesses associated with the Egyptian culture. The most important deities had their own festival named in their honor. The local priests usually organized these festivals. During these types of festivals, the people carried a statue depicting the god.


When it came to gods that were more embraced by the people, celebrations and other festivals were held directly by the people without the help from the priests. An example of one of these gods that were good to the people was named Bes. A festival was held in his name, which meant that no work was required of the locals. Even the construction of pyramids ceased on this day. People filled the streets, parading and praising Bes. They placed masks of this god on their faces, danced and shook tambourines. All through the town, people joined. Some sung from their rooftops and later they all met up to enjoy a feast.




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