There were two types of lotus in Ancient Egypt - the white lotus and the blue lotus.
The most prized was the sweet-smelling blue lotus, with its elegant, pointed buds and cup-shaped flowers. Although due to climate change and land reclamation this flower is nowadays only found in the wild in the Delta, it was widespread in Ancient Egypt. The lotus flowers were highly prized because of their fragrance and beautiful appearance, and the roots were used as food. In addition, the lotus had a symbolic meaning.
The flower was a symbol of regeneration and linked to the sun's cycle - the flower, floating on the water and shutting at night and reopening in the morning, was considered to be a reference to the daily appearance of the newly born sun god in a lotus flower, floating on the primeval waters. Over the course of time other divine powers, usually those identified with Harpocrates in their child form, became associated with the lotus. In addition, the blue lotus was also linked with the god Nefertem, who personified the life-giving power of the primeval lotus. Whenever this 'soul of Re' opened in the morning, light and heavenly scent spread over the world.
The symbolic meaning of the lotus meant that it was also used to decorate utensils; many cups are lotus-shaped and bowls were often decorated with lotus flowers. As a symbol of rebirth, the lotus is a fixed part of tomb and coffin decoration, often in combination with the scarab, which has similar symbolism.