CMA Stories

6 Fun Facts about the History of the Nile River

This Sunday, April 9, we will be celebrating Egyptian culture with the Egyptian Celebration Company. Join us for workshops and performances inspired by Egyptian artistic traditions, such as mythological hybrid masks, collaborative pyramid sculptures, and stories from the Nile River.

Did you know the Nile River is one of the longest Rivers in the world, and it flows through Egypt? Egypt generally has a desert climate with hot and sunny days and cool nights. Egyptian civilizations have depended on the Nile since ancient times. The behavior of the river has inspired many stories. To get you ready for the festival, here are 6 fun facts about the history of the Nile.

  1. The Nile River is an important part of Egyptian spiritual life. The Egyptians believed that it was the passageway between life and death. All tombs are built on the west side of the Nile because the west was considered the place of death since the sun god Ra set in the west each day.
  2. The Nile River flooded annually, keeping soil along the river fertile and ideal for farming. This made Egyptian agriculture one of the most productive in the Near East.
  3. The Ancient Egyptians planned their calendar around the Nile and the stars. The year began in mid July when the river began to rise for the annual flood.
  4. The god most closely associated with the Nile was Osiris, who was killed by his brother Seth on the riverbank and then became the king of the Underworld.
  5. A popular river sport played by Ancient Egyptians was water jousting, in which two-man teams in canoes would try to knock each other out of the boat.
  6. Reeds, called papyrus, grow along the river. Ancient Egyptians use papyrus to create paper and boats.

The Egyptian Cultural Festival is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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