This brand new post, a piece of the author’s own research, is particularly fitting for the last day of 2012.
The epagomenal days in the Egyptian civil calendar were five days added to the standard three hundred and sixty day year, introduced in order to align the calendar with the Sothic cycle. The earliest mention of the epagomenal days is attested to the Old Kingdom, proving that their inclusion in the calendar had occurred by this time.
It is believed that the Egyptians greatly feared these days due to the prevalence of plague and disease, attributed to the wanderers (SmAjw) and slaughterers (xAtjw) of the goddess, Sekhmet, which were particularly rife at the end of the calendar year. Magical texts, such as the Book of the Last Day of the Year on Papyrus Leiden I 346, were recited in order to pacify the goddess, and rituals were…
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