Introduction to Damanhur's Great Rituals
Spring and Fall Equinox, Summer and Winter Solstice, Commemoration of the Dead
This one-hour introductory program explains the meaning and purpose of each of Damanhur's Great Rituals, as well as how to participate.
Solstice and Equinox
The ritual of marking the transition between seasons of the year has been carried out on all continents since the beginning of human history. At Damanhur, we consider the Equinoxes and Solstices to be particularly sacred times of the year.
The entire Damanhur community comes together to celebrate these important events inside large stone circles. During the days of the ritual, a fire is lit to represent the sun. During the Solstice, another second fire symbolizes the moon. The ritual is divided into three phases: lighting, culmination and extinguishing of the fire.
Damanhurians enter the circle wearing robes of varying colors, according to their seniority. They offer herbs to the fires, meditate, sing, and recite hymns and prayers composed by Damanhurians. Most phases of the rituals are accompanied by music and Sacred Dance.
Due to the increased number of Damanhurians in recent years, the rituals take place two or three times on different days to allow everyone to participate. These are joyful occasions, and guests are also welcome to join in by registering in advance at the Damanhur Welcome Office.
Commemoration of the Dead
In addition to the Solstices and Equinoxes, another important ritual at Damanhur is a celebration dedicated to the Commemoration of the Dead, which takes place every year between late October and early November.
According to Damanhur's understanding, the world of the "living" and the world of the "dead" are both expressions of spiritual life, and at times it is possible to open a channel of communication between these dimensions. Rituals are the most important moments of connection-for both sending and receiving thoughts with Damanhur citizens who have passed, as well as other loved ones who are no longer in physical form. It is an act of celebration for life in all its manifestations.
As with the Solstice and Equinox rituals, the Commemoration of the Dead takes place in a stone circle around a fire, with meditation, prayer, song and offerings to the fire. Damanhurians stand inside the huge stone circle, each wearing a ritual robe, and guests gather close around the outside of the circle. As the ceremony proceeds, these moments become an opening of energy and emotion for everyone, the citizens of Damanhur, guests and friends.
Notes for attendees