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The Royal Mummy Parade: Ancient Egyptian Kings Return to the Streets of Cairo

posted on: Apr 7, 2021

The Royal Mummy Parade:
Photo: USA Today

By: Meral Abu-Jaser /Arab America Contributing Writer

On Saturday, April 3, Egypt put on a show for the world. A once in a lifetime parade lit the streets of downtown Cairo. The red carpet was rolled out for 22 mummies and marked the first, and probably the last, parade transferring the Pharaohs from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. Let’s learn more about this amazing historical royal mummy parade and what are people saying about it.

About the Parade

In Pictures: Egyptian mummies paraded through Cairo | Middle East News | Al  Jazeera
Mummy Procession
Photo: Al-Jazeera

This week was a busy one for Egypt. Eighteen kings and four queens departed from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. A festival-like motorcade, complete with music, lights, costumes, actors, singers, and horses embellished the celebration.

A crowd of thousands enjoyed watching live the proceeding along a five-mile route, while others, like myself, fancied this historical parade by watching it online. If you are interested in watching the entire show, you can check it out here.

Ancient mummies are paraded through the streets of Cairo | CNN Travel
Carriage of Ramsses
Photo: CNN

During this remarkable event, the mummies passed murals of pharaohnic scenes against a backdrop of fireworks and sound-and-light shows. As you can see in the above image, each of the mummies had a vehicle of its own. In addition, artists inscribed the Pharaoh’s name in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs as well as in Arabic and English onto the carriages. Climate-controlled cases transported the mummies. Nitrogen-filled boxes protected the tombs against external conditions. Wings and pharaohnic symbols designed for each carriage, ready for the hour-long journey.

According to CNN, the procession transported kings Ramses II, Seti I, Seqenenre, and Tuthmosis III; and queens Ahmose-Nefertari, Tiye, Meritamun and Hatshepsut. The Egyptian military paid a 21-gun salute, and a military band joined the celebration.

Currently, the mummies are in restoration in a laboratory for 15 days. Specialists will prepare the mummies and install them in their new showcases. The Royal Mummies Hall will showcase the final exhibition. Historians decorated the hall to mimic the “Valley of the Kings”. This scared location was where their original tombs were placed centuries ago.

Egyptian Artists Who Performed in the Parade

Pharaohs rule again as mummies parade through Cairo | Arab News
Pharaohs rule again as mummies parade through Cairo | Arab News
Signing Performances
Photo: Arab News

The mummies were not the only center of the spotlight, as various Egyptian artists appeared in the parade. According to Vogue, Mona Zaki, Hussein Fahmy, Hend Sabri, Ahmed Helmy, Khaled  El-Nabawi, Ahmed Ezz, Karim Abdel Aziz, Nelly Karim, Asser Yassin, and Amina Khalil all performed before, after, and during the parade. Furthermore, their performances emphasized the historical importance of the monumental event, as well as their rich Arab heritage.

Egypt Holds a 'Once in a Lifetime' Gala Parade for Transport of Royal  Mummies to New Museum
Precious Cloth Bearers
Photo :MSN
Egypt's Pharaohs' Golden Parade: A majestic journey that history will  forever record - EgyptToday
Egyptian Dancers
Photo: Egypt Today

Additionally, we cannot forget to credit the 60 motorcyclists and 150 horses that accompanied the mummies during the parade. Moreover, Egypt’s maestro conducted the United Philharmonic Orchestra, which included 120 musicians and 100 singers.

Global Reaction

Egypt broadcasted this event internationally and people from all over the world reacted enthusiastically.

“I was amazed to see the crowd of reporters and television cameras at the Paris airport who welcomed Ramses as a president or a king,” Minister El-Anani says.

national geographic

“Rulers wished to be remembered, for their names to live forever,” says Gregory Mumford, Associate Professor of Archaeology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Thus a state and public acknowledgment of their names, reigns, and identities would, I assume, have appealed to many if not all.”

national geographic

“This parade will make all Egyptians proud of their country,” says archaeologist Zahi Hawass

national geographic

A couple of people on different social media platforms expressed their reaction as the following:

“I think you don’t have to be Egyptian to be proud of this. Impressive.”

Others said, “In a sense, these mummies have been awarded life after death!”

With this, we conclude the remarkable event of the royal parade. I recommend you take the chance and watch the parade. Enjoy the Egyptian vibes and performances!

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