10. Ancient Egypt
The “Festival of Drunkenness” which took place in the first month of the year in ancient Egypt was actually a serious and very important ceremony. It was intended to appease the warring goddess Sekhmet who almost destroyed the whole of humanity. She was tricked by the sun god Ra into drinking ochre-colored beer and getting her drunk. She was then transformed into the gentler goddess Hathor, thus saving the world from her destruction.
The ceremony was a mass drunken haze where those involved would engage in all sorts of sexual acts. They were trying to reenact Sekhmets’ transformation. Evidence of this festival was discovered in 2001 at the Temple of Mut in Luxor, dating back to 1470 BC. We also know that everyone in ancient Egypt was engaged in this ceremony. From the highest classes to the poorest of society were doing it. The festival was nationwide, taking place everywhere, from the steps of the temples, to people’s homes and even the desert. The most important event took place the morning after when all the participant were awaken by drummers. This phase symbolized the moment when Sekhmet became Hathor.