We have all seen or assisted in a parade. The procession, the costumes, the bands, or the large balloons are always part of some parades. Whether it is Carnival, Thanksgiving, or any other celebration of some kind, parades are always such a cool plan to go to.
But Cairo had a different idea for a parade. They came up with the “The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade”. What is that you may ask… Well, it was a Mummy Parade. That’s right. Egyptians witnessed a real-life Mummy Parade in Cairo.
The parade has been historic, no doubt. Egyptian film stars, dancers, singers, and lots of horses and guards accompany the mummies as they move along through the streets of Cairo. The reason for this peculiar mummy road trip is amazing. Wanna know more?
The Mummies On The Move
Safely moving the millennia-old remains and the multimillion-dollar historical treasures, the Government managed to build special vehicles to ensure a smooth ride for the ancient royalty. Every mummy had their own car, colored blue or golden. The idea was for the cars to simulate the pharaonic boats that were once used to transport royals to their tombs. And, of course, a winged sun symbol, the symbol of the pharaohs.
It was particularly important to preserve optimal conditions for the mummies. This is why they were all put into oxygen-free nitrogen capsules. Tight security was needed to ensure the people didn’t gather around or were too close to the vehicles carrying the pharaohs. The journey wasn’t long though: 3 miles (5 km) long.
The New Valley Of The Kings
It was a total of 22 mummies: 18 kings and 4 queens. Some dating back to the 12th century BC, others from the 17th dynasty. In fact, the parade respected the chronological order of their reign. The gala parade also included other ancient royalty, like Queen Hatshepsut, the Foremost of Noble Ladies, and one who was returned from Paris for a makeover in 1976.
The reason the mummies were moved was that they were being replaced in a new more modern museum to rest. The mummies were previously displayed in the peach-colored, neo-classical Museum of Egyptian Antiquities and found a new home in the recently inaugurated National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC).
As a matter of fact, the Golden Parade was the great celebration opening of the new museum. The museum will be completely opened this month. The government is expecting it will revitalize the tourism industry, primordial to the country.
In order to succeed, the mummies will be exhibited in the Royal Hall of Mummies, a hall which design simulates the Valley of the Kings located in Luxor, so visitors will have the illusion to be right there.
“This parade will make all Egyptians proud of their country… they want to be happy, to feel proud of their ancestors. They will be waiting in the streets to say hello to their kings,” said archaeologist Zahi Hawass, the nation’s former minister of antiquities in an interview with National Geographic. And they surely did feel proud as much as we, the spectators, did too.