Beliefs and Rituals of Ancient Egyptians

The notion of beliefs and rituals remained an integral part of the society of ancient Egyptians. The ancient Egyptians were endowed with a rich culture that has been handed down to this day. The pyramids, the Sphinx, and many other relics of their civilization still stand today as a testament to their culture. Ancient Egyptians also had a wide range of beliefs and rituals that have been passed down through history.

Beliefs in the afterlife

The ancient Egyptians believed in an afterlife, where the soul would go to live with the gods. They had many beliefs about the afterlife, including that your soul would either live in Horus’ company or pass into Duat. The Duat was a dark area where souls were judged before they could cross over to Osiris’ side.

The same belief system we can find in many societies even in this time. The concept of the soul and its departing from the body is not something unknown even in many societies of the contemporary era.

The importance of food

The ancient Egyptians were very concerned with food. They believed that it had the power to sustain the body and to give life, so it was important that they eat well. They used bread for food, but they also used it as a symbol of life. After all, their most famous god is Osiris, who was killed by his brother after being tricked into eating a loaf of bread made of barley instead of wheat.

The importance of bread in Egyptian culture is seen in the fact that they would often use it as an offering or as a symbol of their dead relatives or friends. A loaf on an altar might symbolize the nourishment one’s soul will need in the afterlife.

Another perspective of their obsession with food may be the abundance of food. Because their land was very fertile to give more yield. So, it can be assumed that their dietary pattern can be part of their rituals as well.   

Rituals for the dead

Rituals performed by ancient Egyptians for the dead were called the “Opening of Mouth” ceremony. It was performed on mummies after they had been buried in order to restore their senses so that they could enjoy the afterlife. This ritual involved reciting spells, pouring libations, and touching various parts of the mummy’s body with special instruments.

In ancient Egyptian times, people use to mummify dead bodies. In order to mummify the bodies, they used a special material that preserve their bodies. They used to bury dead bodies in a pyramid along with all the precious belongings of that dead person.    

Pyramids and tombs

It will not be wrong to say that the Pyramids are one of the most important symbols of ancient Egypt. Early Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for their pharaohs that ended up being the resting place for many of them. They were made from stone or clay bricks, with a square base and four inward-sloping sides that met at a point at the apex. The Romans later called these structures pyramidis after their shape, which in turn became our word “pyramid.”

The Egyptians also believed that the pyramids were symbolic representations of the primeval mound on which Atum’s creative power first appeared.

The structure and construction of such magnificent pyramids is itself a miracle. We are living in the age of advanced technology era but it seems very difficult to even replicate these pyramids these days. 

Monuments to royal families

Egyptian people believed that the pharaohs were the family of Horus and they built monuments to their royal families. There are many sculptures of pharaohs, as well as structures throughout Egypt that have been found with hieroglyphics that rank them like royalty.

The Egyptian people also believed in the power of the Pharaoh and would often do what they asked without question, no matter how ridiculous it was. They had great respect for this social class and went through many rituals to please the pyramids’ spirits so they could be spared from harm.

The prestigious status of Pharaohs was ultimate and no one even dare to challenge it. The prestige of the Pharaohs was usually associated with the rituals that were considered an integral part of their belief system. Archaeologists and historians found the mummies of these Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. The pyramids, precious belongings, and their burial arrangement all depict their magnificence at their time. 

The Sphinx

The Sphinx is the giant statue that greets visitors to the Giza Necropolis. It was built as a guardian by Pharaoh Khafre during the era of the Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BC) and it stands on its head, representing strength and power.

The Sphinx has been an important landmark for centuries, but its origins date back much further than you might think. The first mention of it comes from an Egyptian papyrus scroll dated to about 2200 BC, which mentioned a “living image” that guarded the sanctity of pharaoh’s pyramids.

We know that Khafre built the Sphinx to be part of his pyramid complex, so there are some clues in there. But why is it so old? There are many theories about this. The most popular one is that it was created by Khafre’s father Khufu. However, there are no records earlier than 2200 BC about who built it. So it is a bit difficult for us to know exactly about it.


Ancient Egyptians were interesting people with fascinating beliefs. They believed in the afterlife and were certain that they would live on in another world. The ancient Egyptians had a strong belief in the power of food and they believed in rituals for the dead. They believed in the importance of monuments and they built pyramids and tombs. And, of course, they believed in the Sphinx.

As we have briefly discussed the different beliefs and rituals of the ancient Egyptians. But the most interesting, I found here is the way they used to practice their rituals. One thing is clear here, the dominion of religious beliefs and rituals can never be underestimated in any of society. So the case with the ancient Egyptians, religious beliefs had a strong influence on their everyday life.

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