Sangeetha Pulapaka
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Egyptian gods, just like Indian gods are numerous in number. Hapi, the Egyptian Nile god who was believed to bring the silt to the banks of the Nile. One of his titles was "Lord of the River Bringing Vegetation". He was often represented as an androgynous god depicted as partly male and partly female in appearance with blue colored skin with a crown of papyrus and/or lotus plants. Hapi was worshipped at Elephantine Island along with three other Nile gods called Khnum, Satet and Anuket, who were known as the Elephantine Triad. 

Hapi was a human-headed god often depicted as androgynous, as partly male and partly female in appearance. Identified with blue skin with a crown of papyrus and/or lotus plants. The titles of Hapi were the "Lord of the Fishes and Birds of the Marshes" and the "Lord of the River Bringing Vegetation"

                                                       

The above figure is a translation of Hieroglyphics for Hapi: A wick representing the letter H, the arm for a small letter 'a', reed stool, duality sign, and a water sign.

The symbols and attributes associated with Hapi included depictions of the plant life found growing on the banks of the Nile.

  1. The Lotus Plant:The Lotus is also referred to as the water lily, grows in muddy swamps and is a potent symbol of fertility and Hapi and was a symbol of Upper Egypt (south)
  2. The Papyrus Reed: Papyrus was a water reed once abundant in Egypt and used making sheets for writing, rope, furniture and boats. The papyrus was a symbol of Lower Egypt (north)
  3. The lotus entwined with the long stems of papyrus reeds represented the unification of the two lands of Upper and Lower Egypt.


The River Nile flows from south to north, to its delta on the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile flooding or inundation (Ancient Egyptian name 'hapi') was of such great importance that the Ancient Egyptians based their lives around it. The economy of ancient Egypt, and the well-being of the Egyptians, relied on its agricultural wealth and, therefore, on the River Nile. Every year a torrent of water overflowed on to the banks of the River Nile leaving a thick, rich mud (called black silt) which fertilized the land making it ideal for growing the crops that fed Egypt. The Nile inundation (Ancient Egyptian name 'hapi') was of such importance that the Ancient Egyptians based their lives and their activities around it.

  • Flooding Season: Akhet was the name given to the time of the Nile flood (June - September)
  • Sowing Season: Peret was the name given to the sowing time (October - January)
  • Harvesting Season: Shemu was the name for the time of harvest (February - May)

The annual flooding of the Nile was referred to as the "Arrival of Hapi" and was celebrated with great festivals and river processions. Every year, Egyptian farmers would travel to his shrines at Elephantine and Aswan to pray for an adequate flood and a fresh supply of silt. Too little water would cause famine, and too much flood water would be equally disastrous by limiting the sowing of fresh crops.


Picture of ancient egypt festival procession.