Other, less well known festivals of the summer included a festival for Renenutet the Snake Goddess, as she and her creatures protected the fields from mice and other vermin. There was also an "adoration of Anubis" and a four day celebration of the god fertility Min. Special offerings were made to Hapy, god of the annual flooding of the Nile, and Amun, in hopes of ensuring a good inundation to replenish the soil in the fields. Hathor, goddess of joy and the home, adorned with cow horns (sometimes depicted as a beautful cow, or a cow-headed woman) also came in for some special celebrations at this time of the year.
Tyema’s heart beat faster at the honor of participating in a procession with Pharaoh. My astounding new cloak might be beautiful, but mere feathers can’t outshine a living Great One.
Paying the crocodile no heed, Nat-re-Akhte stopped for a moment beside her chair. “Are you ready for this, Lady Tyema?”
“Indeed, my lord. It’s all so much grander than I’d imagined, but the procession pays proper tribute to Sobek. Thank you.” She knew if Pharaoh hadn’t taken a personal interest in this ceremony, things would have been done on a much lesser scale.
He nodded. “An outstanding cloak, my dear, quite unusual. The priests of the Theban temples will have yet another reason to feel cast into the shade. And so they should.” He didn’t wait for an answer but walked to his own chair, separated from hers by heralds and standard bearers with the insignia of the Nomes of Egypt, the one for Nat-re-Akhte’s home province being foremost. The back of his chair was a glorious gilded rendition of the sun rising over the Nile. Uncut rubies set at the tip of each ray sparkled in the real sun as it rose higher. Six fan bearers took up position on either side of him as the burly litter bearers raised the chair high. In front of him soldiers stood ready to march, carrying his gold encrusted bow, shield and sword, accompanied by two handlers with Pharaoh’s snarling hunting leopards on leashes. Behind him was another miniature boat, elaborately constructed and painted, bearing an effigy of the god Horus, Pharaoh’s personal sponsor among the Great Ones. Depicted in falcon form, the statue was taller than a man, wings outspread, decorated in vibrant multicolored enamel and blue faience, with the head gold plated. Gleaming eyes, one a diamond and the other a yellow stone she couldn’t name, gazed upon the scene. Tyema knew Horus and Sobek maintained a friendly rivalry, so she could find no fault with the parade concluding on a tribute to Horus.
Pharaoh must have made some sign she missed because suddenly her litter was raised into the air. Tyema clutched the arms of her chair as the eighteen men carrying her and the crocodile adjusted their hold on the ebony poles to achieve maximum stability. She glanced at Sahure for reassurance and he grinned, giving her a raised thumb of support. Far ahead, at the beginning of the procession, she heard the blare of trumpets. From her new position, supported on the shoulders of the massive litter bearers, three men at each corner and on both sides in the middle, she could see movement in the ranks of marchers. She took a deep breath, knowing she had to stay calm to play her part in this pageant, and more importantly, to ensure the crocodile played his. So far the animal stayed locked in his regal pose, watching his surroundings with the deceptively lazy demeanor of his kind. The litter bearers closest to him exuded almost palpable fear, and she wished she’d had time to reassure the men the crocodile was firmly under her control.
Music began, a somber march supported by the rhythmic pounding of drums and then a moment later, her litter was in motion. As she was carried through the gates of the palace road onto the wide street, the roar of the assembled crowd made her blink. The roadway was lined with excited, expectant people, at least ten deep, come to see the parade and marvel. Tyema stared straight ahead as she’d been instructed by Edekh, although it seemed wrong not to acknowledge the people who’d come to watch. The cheers for Pharaoh were deafening. Nat-re-Akhte was a popular ruler, much beloved. She glanced back once, and saw him sitting straight and unsmiling, the picture of a Great One come to life. She was glad she’d met him in private prior to today, knew what a kind and thoughtful person he was, despite wearing the Two Crowns and being a god walking the earth.
The procession wove through Thebes along the path they’d all agreed to, passing the large temples of other Great Ones and coming to a halt in front of the somewhat less impressive building that was Sobek’s. As she arrived at the temple, Tyema saw the marchers who’d gone before her had dispersed to prearranged places beside the building, along the towering pillars inscribed with hieroglyphics extolling the powers of Sobek or in the square in front of the main entrance. Sobek’s cadre of priests had also regrouped, waiting to greet her.
Here's the story of Magic of the Nile (a Night Owl Reviews Top Pick):