Thursday, January 19, 2012

Flowers of Egypt

Located in South Africa, Egypt has a rather hot and dry climate with a number of flower shops scattered around. The River Nile provides lush and fertile grounds for growing flowers and it is along its banks that a large amount of flower gardens are found. Flowers are of great importance to Egypt's economy as it is known for exporting its beautiful flowers in many varieties. In fact, approximately 600 tons of flowers are exported annually only to Europe.
Flowers have been of great significance in Egypt since ancient times and were used for multiple purposes. Their strong scent was believed to signify the presence of a god and they were given as gifts of love and worship to lovers and gods. Large floral bouquets and wreaths were popular offerings made to gods. Flowers were also used by Egyptians in their poetry, paintings and architecture. Egyptians used to adorn themselves with flowers in the form of garlands on their head and neck as well as their hair. The main decoration of the house was considered to be flowers and was an important aspect of daily life.
Fresh flower arrangements were adored by all Egyptians who are known as the first people were formally arranging flowers for presentation. Like everything in Egypt was done according to symbolization, flowers were given different meanings as well. Each arrangement was then made according to what it is meant to represent and reflect. Flowers were a great part of Egyptian culture and each arrangement was made specifically according to its symbolization.
The Egyptians considered the Lotus, Water Lily and Papyrus as their most sacred and meaningful flowers. The Lotus was considered the first amongst flowers and the Egyptians used to sing songs for this special flower on parties and events. There was a special feast in the name of this flower called the 'Feast of Lotus' where a special silver pot in the shape of the Lotus flower was held along with a candle burning in the middle. This pot was taken to the River Nile while dreaming a special dream in your heart and if the candle continued to float once placed in the River your dream would come true.
The Water Lily is of great importance for the Egyptians as well and was seen as image of rebirth and regeneration. This was because the Water Lily opens up its petals in the morning and closes them at night. The Egyptians considered this as a symbol of the deceased entering the underworlds and then into a new life.
The Papyrus was considered as a symbol of fertility and life itself. It was a part of the offering that the deceased used to take with themselves to the grave. The Papyrus was most popularly used for the purpose of writing. Other than that, it was used to build beds, chairs, tables and different types of furniture as well as mats, baskets and sandals. The Papyrus was also a source of food, medicine and perfume.
Thus, it can be seen how important flowers are in Egypt not only today, but in ancient Egypt as well. They have great significance, uses and are an important trade item for the Egyptians. Even today you will be able to find a number of flower shops scattered all around Egypt.

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