Moulid of Abu Haggagg, Parade on Last Day.

Digi camera packed up, so I had to get the card downloaded onto a disc and then load the pics onto the laptop, what a carry-on! I knew I shouldn't have changed the Brownie 127!!!!!!
Anyway, stacks of photo's just to give you a taste of what it was like, but you have to imagine a deafening cacaphony all the time as well.
People come from far and wide to celebrate, with the Muslim population of Luxor, the Sheik (and saint) Abu Haggagg. The streets are crowded with onlookers, climbimg to every ledge or wall top to get a better view of what's coming!

On all the pictures, click once to enlarge, and again to magnify.

Once there's no room left for anyone to stand, then you know that the procession won't be long in coming. First of all there are the daft lads with their camels and horses. Shoving each other out of the way, and making the horses rear up, they don't seem to mind using their whips!

Interspersed between each group are gangs of youths, with fighting sticks or swords or knives. Thank heaven they aren't filled with drink!

The next group to appear are the Holy Men of Luxor, this group used to be a LOT bigger than today's showing, lol.

The Holy Men are followed by the camels with tents mounted on their backs. These represent the seven major Mosques of Luxor. On some of them they have a woman inside the tent, as I noticed at least two with female legs sticking out the bottom!

After the Mosques come the Trades of Luxor, represented on different floats hauled along by poor little donkeys or half starved horses, but always helped along by plenty of willing hands as well. The pictures are of the Felucca Men and the Fruiterers. The Bakers are always somewhere to be seen, covered in flour usually, but I didn't catch them here.

As well as the stick and sword men gathering between the floats, we also have the entertainers and fools. Here we have a right clever-clogs standing up on his "Hijabi" camel, also the man with the twitching false moustache who gave everyone a laugh!

The poor old soul playing the kettle drums really deserved that drink!

There were some floats and banners which I didn't know what they were, with an election coming up one or two were definitely election posters. I don't know what this one was, but the man wanted me to photograph it anyway. It did accidently produce a good profile picture of our good friend Mr. Ramadan, the local (spitting, remember?) electrician.

The 2010 Moulid of Abu Haggagg.

As usual, the road is closed and the traffic diverted around the Mosque, and all for the annual stick fighting extravaganza! This even happened last year when the Moulid was actually cancelled for fear of spreading the dreaded Swine Flu. People come from all over Egypt to join in this celebration of the famous local Sheik Abu Haggagg. The Mosque which was built on top of Luxor Temple was in his honour, and it's just been renovated at a cost of 7 million Egyptian Pounds.
It's nearly a quarter to two in the morning, but we aren't asleep yet! As well as the stick fighting band, we also have something else going on in a street not far away, and their live music is turned up full blast, seeing as it's part of the Moulid, probably. Anyway, I've been downstairs to watch some of the stick fighting and got a couple of piccies.
The first one has some of the band in it, they are left of centre, just in front of the big doors. You can clearly see three trumpeters, but none of the drummers, sorry!
The other three are of different dancers, after they've had their little spell, they drop the band members a few bob.

A couple of years ago, we had two old men from Kom Ombo sleeping in our street, on the ground, while they awaited their turn to do the stick fighting dance "for Abu Haggagg". It gets quite exciting the later in the night it gets. They usually finish around three in the morning!

Joshu fit de battle of Jericho!

And you know what happened next, don't you?
Yes: And de walls come a-tumblin' down.

And it came to pass that in the long hours before dawn, the desert wind came up out of the West, like unto the Lion of Judah, and smote upon the walls of the Egyptian Overlord until they didst break asunder! And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the houses of them that dost toil.

The poor brickies must be close to tears when they think of all the sweat they lost, only to have to do it again. Before I got there, the bricks had been separated from the cement (which was left to be trodden into the road) and placed ready for the men to come and rebuild. My heart goes out to them.

No rest for the wicked?

Now, it's 00.37! But I want to get this last bit down.

It's not WHAT you know, but WHO you know!

We received an invite to a "bit-of-a-do" at the Winter Palace tonight! It was a celebration for the opening of the new "Central Park Bar" in the garden at the rear of the hotel. Very nice too, and quite posh!

All the great and the good of Luxor were there. Oh, sorry if you didn't get an invitation, there was no room for the hoi-polloi don'cha know? We were treat to a small feast delivered by a flock of waiters. Little Ahmed (whom we met on his first day of training, in the New Winter Palace a good few years back) was doing his usual gliding across the floor as if he was on wheels bit. He still looks 12 years old, though! We had kebabs, Daoud Basha (sort of meat balls), kofta and a range of little savoury bites and dips, such as smoked salmon, several different pates on toast and different cheesey tasters with melon and grapes. For drinks we had a choice of soft drinks and cocktails, plus (of course) some "English" tea. We got there a bit late due to the usual (Egyptian-time) time-keeping of one of our party, or else the pics would have been taken before it was really dark. Sorry, but you all know how useless I am!!!

Doesn't time fly?

Well here we are, still. It's now 00.22 and I'm still working for you. You lucky people! I really don't know how you all cope with the excitement at what I'll put on here next.

We haven't been wasting our time in the Guest Apartment! How about this new chandelier in the Guest Bedroom? As you can see from the picture, the beds are made up separately, as our next guest (Melanie) is coming by herself. She's a regular and we know what she likes. We're looking forward to having her stay again. This time she'll be here for the Moulid of Abu Haggagg, which starts soon, I'll post some pictures on here, insh'Allah.

What do you think of it? Although I'm quite colour blind, I knew it was bright red as soon as I saw it, and I just fell in love with it. I hope you will too, when you see it "in the flesh", so to speak.

No, I haven't been wasting my time!!!!!

Actually, I've been rather busy, in fact too busy to do the blog!
Here I am though, back again. It's 23.41, so if I want any sleep tonight I'd better get my skates on, I cannot sit here rabbiting to you all night.

You'll no doubt remember the pictures I posted of the trench they were digging for the foundations of the "West Bank Desert Wall", well they haven't stopped there. Here's a pic of the concrete foundation reinforcing work. I hope you are suitably excited!

And here's a couple of pics of the poor wretches working in the afternoon when it was 47.5 in the shade. (Of which they had none!) You'll notice the application of the cement? None in the horizontal gaps between the bricks, just poured on the top and spread out. I suppose the horizonal bits will get some stuff squeezed in when the wall is rendered.

As usual, just click once to make these pics bigger, then again to magnify them.

I'll come back tothis when they start to render. I promise!!!