Pomegranate Symbolism & Greek Traditions

Food & Recipes April 6, 2015

Just as any culture, Greeks have many traditions but one that is highlighted in my mind is the pomegranate tradition. In Greek tradition the pomegranate symbolizes fertility, prosperity and good fortune.

This Pomegranate tradition dates alll the way back to Greek Mythology, in the Hades and Persephone myth. Where Persephone is captured against her will and sentenced to the underworld. Her mother Demeter was so saddened by the news that she left the earth’s harvest to wither and die. Zeus knew it was time to intervene and save his daughter and earth. He persuaded his Hades free. Hades agreed, only under one condition, that Peresephone eat six seeds from the pomegranate. So, she did. When eaing the seeds, this tied her to hades eternally and she would live 6 months in the underworld and 6 months on earth. Upon returning to earth she brings spring, summer, and gives a breath of new life to earths plant life. This myth reperesents how the earth stalls for 6 months and how it revives the next 6 months.

When a new couple enters their new home, the bride smashes a pomegranate over the threshold, when the seeds burst out, they will bring them fertility, prosperity and good fortune. Pomegranate is also associated with Christmas, you find it everywhere, on Christmas wreaths,as a centerpiece, given as a gift, there’s a myriad ways that this fruit is used. Greeks also smash a pomegranate on our doorstep during the New Year, the more seeds that are dispersed, the greater the prosperity and good fortune for the coming year for the household.

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