Sacrificing to the Nile


Open to read the story

Herodotus, one of the greatest and most famous historians wrote that “Egypt is the gift to the Nile”. Herodotus was very impressed with the Nile and how Egyptians were grateful for having this great river. It was mentioned in the ancient Egyptian history that a pharaonic document used to be prepared and issued to be thrown in the Nile river to accept it, as a promise from the Nile never to miss and to keep giving gifts to the ground. This is how the festival “Hymn to the Nile” came to light. Egyptians used to throw precious gifts and go out holding Lotus flowers and waving with them while singing during the flooding. The ancient Egyptians’ interest of the flooding has impacted their perceptions to such a great extent that it was shown in their conversations. For example, they described successful work as “flooding” like the Nile.

Habi was the god of the Nile for ancient Egyptians. As a water god, Hapi was a deity of fertility and fecundity, he provided water, food and the yearly inundation of the Nile. He was also known as ‘Lord of the Fishes and Birds of the Marshes,’ indicating that he provided these creatures to the Egyptians along with the Nile itself.

The sacrifice to the Nile has captured a lot of interest around the world. Once upon a time in ancient Egypt, the Nile river did not flood and sadness spread all over people; worrying about their harvests and their lands. The high priest met the king and told him that the Nile river is feeling sad because the Nile wants to marry a beautiful girl. The king ordered that the news must be spread all over the country; and beautiful girls came from every part from all around Egypt announcing their desire to marry the god of all goodness. The most beautiful Egyptian girl was chosen to be presented to the Nile and was decorated with ornaments and roses; and was presented to the river who accepted the gift and came back to flood with good all over Egyptians. The festival was held annually till  the Muslim conquered Egypt and ordered for the sacrifice to be substituted with a wooden decorated pride and presented to the Nile.

Ancient Egyptians sacrificed to the Nile to:

  1. Celebrate Habi, the god of the Nile.
  2. Rest from their continuous work.
  3. Make the Nile flood again

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *