What did Ancient Egyptians do for entertainment?

Egypt: Daily Life [1]Egyptians spent their spare time doing a wide variety of things, and many of these activities are shown on the tomb walls. Dramatizations were held in the temples, but the most important source of entertainment & relaxation was the Nile river. Activities on the river include fishing, river boat outings, swimming, hunting crocodiles and hippopotamuses, and boat games where two teams of men in boats with long poles, would try to push each other into the water. Hunting in the desert was another great pastime, especially for the noblemen. Men first hunted on foot, however, by the time of the New Kingdom, men used horses and chariots.

Some of the animals the Ancient Egyptians hunted include the fox, hare, and hyena.[2]

Wealthy Egyptians often entertained by holding extravagant parties with plenty of food to eat and beer and wine to drink. Singers, dancers, acrobats, and musicians were hired to entertain. The Egyptians loved music, and played instruments such as the lute, harp, and lyre. Other favorite pastimes included board games like Hounds & Jackals, and Senet. Children kept themselves entertained with toys like carved ivory animals, wooden horses on wheels, and balls.

Festivals held in Ancient Egypt were usually holidays in honor of the gods. The important gods had festivals in their honor that were held by the priests. A statue of the god was carried through the streets.

More friendly gods had celebrations held by the people, and not the priests. Bes is one of the gods the people held a festival for. On the day of Bes, no work was done on the pyramid, and people would parade down the street dressed in masks of Bes, while dancers and tambourine players followed. The townspeople joined in the singing from their rooftops, while the children would run along beside the dancers singing and clapping their hands. The whole town enjoyed the festival and feast.


[1] "Egypt: Daily Life." 2002. 3 Aug. 2014 <http://www2.sptimes.com/Egypt/EgyptCredit.4.2.html>

[2] <http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ENHt4hAm25U/UEjkM32vDJI/AAAAAAAAGvA/s_9emj0Hq_Q/s1600/Ancient+Egyptian+Recreation1.gif>