Dazzling Golden lotuses - Even kids can make it!

One hardly needs an introduction to the beautiful lotus flower. From ancient times the lotus has been a divine symbol in Asian traditions representing the virtues of purity and non-attachment.  We Hindus revere it with the divinities Vishnu and Lakshmi often portrayed on a pink lotus in iconography. In the representation of Vishnu as Padmanabha (Lotus navel), a lotus issues from his navel with Brahma on it. Often used as an example of divine beauty, Vishnu is often described as the 'Lotus-Eyed One'.  Lord Krishna is referred to as having blue-lotus skin.  Goddesses Saraswati and Ganga and Lord Ganesha are often depicted with lotus flowers as their seats.  Its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. The growth of its pure beauty from the mud of its origin holds a benign spiritual promise.  As for foodies, all parts of the lotus plant are edible.

No wonder then, that "creating" a lotus at home, would be an exciting activity for us, especially kids if it were as simple as I outline here.

It hardly takes a few minutes to assemble a dazzling golden lotus out of readily-available craft supplies, and the technique is so easy that any kid would love to contribute to their mom's craft basket.

I start with the basic supplies: just 3 of them: large pearl beads, golden flowers and golden wire.

First, fold the edges of the golden flower to make the inner round of petals.

Next, take a small length of golden wire, and insert a large pearl bead through the wire and wind around to make the stem.

Then, insert this stem through a folded flower and an open flower.

Finally make a small twist in the stem wire below the open flower in order to secure the petals and prevent them from coming out of the stem.

You can arrange them as you want, like in a bouquet, or allow them to float around individually in a brass bowl filled with water. You could also include them in various decorations, for e.g. on an oasis, in between other kinds of flowers, or stick them around along with balloons etc.

Lotus facts..

 Here are some interesting facts about the lotus in other ancient cultures.

China:  The lotus flower in traditional Chinese culture is considered the symbol of peace and unity. For the Chinese, the lotus is also the subject of poems and paintings endowed with artistic appeal; it is the material of graceful dances; and it is a common pattern and design of various architectural decorations, sculpture artworks and daily utensils.  Xi Shi, a legendary beauty, was one of the Four Beauties in ancient China. Legends said that in summer she always went to pick lotus on Lake Jinghu. She was so beautiful that no one could rival her beauty. Therefore, she was crowned the Goddess of Lotus Blossom. (Source: Internet and http://traditions.cultural-china.com/)

Egypt:  The lotus closes at night and sinks underwater. In the morning it re-emerges and blooms again. Thus the flower became a natural symbol of the sun and creation. In Hermopolis, it was believed that it was a giant lotus blossom that first emerged from the primordial waters of Nun and from which the sun-god came forth.  As a symbol of re-birth, the lotus was closely related to the imagery of the funerary and Osirian cult, therefore it is rightly taken as a symbol of genesis, revival and restoration. The Four Sons of Horus were frequently shown standing on a lotus in front of Osiris. The Book of the Dead contains spells for "transforming oneself into a lotus" and thus fulfilling the promise of resurrection. The lotus was commonly used in art as a symbol of Upper Egypt. It was often shown with its long stems intertwined with papyrus reeds (a symbol of Lower Egypt) as a representation of the unification of the two lands. (Source:  http://www.egyptianmyths.net).

Buddhism adopted the concept of "Om Mani Padme Hum" - a hymn that celebrates the 'jewel in lotus'- the essence and spirit of being rooted in the core of all mankind. Buddhists consider the lotus to be symbolically equal to the Buddha.

Christianity has the white lily depicting the same symbolic message as the lotus, related to Mary the Virgin mother, which signifies chastity and fecundity.

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