Ancient Egypt Cat Worship: All Inclusive Holidays In Egypt
Although the Cult of Bast (worshippers of the cat goddess) was officially banned in 390AD, tourists on all inclusive holidays in Egypt will still see its presence everywhere, such as cat goddess statues in market stalls. You’ll quickly realise why ancient Egyptians worshipped cats when you like at the country’s history. Rodents were proving a problem for Egyptian farmers around six thousand years ago, as they were breaking into their stores and eating their grain. The African wildcat, an ancestor of today’s house cat, was a first class mouser and was encouraged by the farmers to hunt its prey. The Egyptians’ gratitude evolved into respectful worship, which started 4950 years ago.
By 975BC, cats were considered as Gods, known as ‘Bast’ or ‘Bastet’. Bast was a Goddess known for her nurturing nature and was considered as a positive force for propsperity. Bast’s twin sister, Sekhmet, was her opposite, who was depicted as a woman with the head of a lioness. Sekhmet was seen as the destructive, darker side of the Goddess. Cats were believed to be Gods who had taken animal form. By satisfying the cats, people believed they were satisfying the Gods.
Tourists who are enjoying all inclusive holidays in Egypt can visit the ruins of temples of worship, which were constructed during the time of cat worship, which spanned just over a thousand years. The 31st of October was significant to followers of the Cult of Bast, as it was the feast day of Bast, where 700,000 ancient Egyptians danced and ate in celebration of their Goddess. Inside the temple, cats were treated to tasty food and carried around in baskets. Anyone who harmed a cat was put to death. Cats were given spectacular funerals and when a cat died, the owners would shave off their eyebrows as a mark of respect.
Cat lovers who are enjoying holidays in Egypt can visit a recent discovery in Alexandria – a temple dedicated to the cat Goddess, Bast. Built by Queen Berenike ll two thousand years ago, it contained over 600 bronze statues of cats.