In a unique astronomical phenomenon, the sun illuminated six ancient temples on Tuesday in five provinces across Egypt, signalling the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Marking the first day of the summer on the ancient Egyptian calendar, the sun falls perpendicular to the sacred rooms in the temples of Ramses III and Ptah in Karnak complex in Luxor, Dendera in Qena, Edfu in Aswan, Hibis in New Valley, and Abydos in Sohag. “The phenomenon, which is repeated on June 21 every year, is one of the attractions for tourists,” Abdel Hakeem al-Saghir, chairperson of the Dendera Temple complex. Al-Saghir explained that building religious facilities in ancient Egypt began with observing the stars to determine the right direction for worshipping in the temples. Tourist agencies have been urged to add the dates of the astronomical phenomenon on the tourist maps, adding that 22 similar events take place in Egypt’s temples every year, some of them marking the birthdays of ancient famous kings and some marking the winter solstice. All the temples were built either to the sunrise or the sunset on certain days and with certain indications as appeared in religious texts, he added, noting that the sun symbolizes life and resurrection for ancient Egyptians.