Festivals of ISIS

Whether held in various parts of Egypt, or in the European  countries to which the worship of Isis spread, Isis has been honored through the millennia with many different feast days.

January 2, the Advent of Isis, celebrates the coming of Isis from Phoenicia to Egypt with the Ark of Osiris.

The Greco-Roman festival of Ploiaphesia, also called Isidis Navigum, the Festival of the Ship of Isis, celebrates Isis as sea goddess and as the goddess of navigation. Ships were dedicated to Isis during the festival, to place them under her protection. Romans celebrated Isidis Navigum on January 5-6, but March 5 is said to have been the original date of the festival.

When held in March, it was also a Spring festival of Isis as Mother of the Season. Isidis Navigum was traditionally celebrated with lights, music, mirrors, flower garlands, perfume, balsam, carnival, and torch-lit processions. It can also be celebrated by going sailing, carrying garlands of roses to the sea, pouring libations of milk into the sea, dedicating a ship to Isis, or making and launching a small votive boat in honor of Isis.

May 14 is the Panegyric of Isis. It honors black-robed Isis the Merciful. The Panegyric is a time to meditate on the many gifts that Isis has bestowed upon humans. Offerings, such as   libations of rosewater, milk, or wine), and oblations such as bread and wine or cakes and ale, are traditionally made to Isis at this time.

 May 16 is the Festival of Isis as Giver of Life.

May 17 is a day to mark the Sorrows of Isis
, when her tears were said to cause the Nile to begin to rise.

Leylet el-Nukhtah, Night of the Teardrop of Isis, is also celebrated on June 14.

June 23 celebrates the Rites of Isis and Osiris.

July 26 was a time out of time in ancient Egypt, the start of the epagomenal days. This was considered very powerful day for magic and divination, as workings done at this time were believed to have power through the year.

August 12 is the festival of the Lights of Isis, which was celebrated lanterns and votive candles.

October 7 is the feast of the Going Forth of Isis. It can be celebrated by taking her beautifully dressed image to visit another sacred space which is dedicated to her. Divination was also performed on this festival. Food offerings were made to Isis and then shared by celebrants.

The Isia of Isis is held from October 31 to November 3. The Koiak, the Mysteries of Osiris, are held during this period. The Koiak honors his death, dismemberment, and resurrection by Isis.

November 1 marks her search for the scattered parts of his body, and her re-membering of Osiris.

December 22 is the day of the Mysteries of Isis. A priestess representing Isis, wearing her cow horns and solar disk, circles the shrine or coffin of Osiris seven times to signify mourning. She shakes her sistrum to drive away Set and bring about the rebirth of Osiris. The Lament for Osiris is also sung by priestesses representing Isis and their her sister Nephthys.

Additionally, the Rhodophoria, a festival of roses, was held in honor of Isis in some of the places where her worship spread from Egypt. Daily rituals of Isis include a morning ritual to awaken her, held when her image is brought forth for the day; a noontime ritual; an evening ritual, held when her image is shut away for the night; and a midnight ritual.

The night of the Full Moon is a traditional time for celebrating Isis and Osiris.

 Isis is also traditionally honored on the first and fourth days of the New Moon.

The nativity of Isis has been variously celebrated on July 17, during the Beautiful Festival of Heaven and Earth, on July 30, and on December 30.


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