In Greek culture, the pomegranate holds much significance. In Ancient Greek Mythology, Persephone was tricked into staying in the underworld because she ate 6 pomegranate seeds. Tap the leathery exterior with a spoon until the arils all fall out. We know that the fruit was familiar very early to the region of India because there is a word for it in Sanskrit. It rids the system of hatred and of envy”. It reigns supreme in the cuisines of Georgia and of Persia and is found readily in kitchens all over the Middle East. More somberly, it is a common ingredient in kollyva, the sweet funerary dish made with whole wheat kernels, nuts and raisins which also symbolizes rebirth. It is the tradition for the First Footer to stop on the mossy stones after smashing the pomegranates. Persephone is the daughter of Demeter, the harvest goddess. Cleaning a pomegranate is easy.

As the time nears midnight, the family members in the household will turn off all the lights and make their way outside of their home. It is a sign of luck, prosperity and fertility. It's hard to miss the references to this juicy, delicious, tantalizing fruit as you read through the history of different religions or myths about characters that may or may not have existed at one time.

In Greece, the fruit is closely associated to the myth of Demeter and her daughter, Persephone, who was stolen away to the Underworld to share the throne of Hades. Smashing a pomegranate on New Year’s Day is an Ancient Greek custom that continues to this day as the red colored nutritious fruit is considered a symbol of life and good fortune. It is.

Subscribe here to get new posts and recipes via email. Luck fruit. It has to be done right, or else the ritual will not bring the family luck for the New Year! This is the person who takes the fruit in their right hand and smashes it against the door. In modern times, Greek Orthodox tradition dictates that on New Year’s Eve, the family gathers outside and when the clock strikes midnight, a pomegranate is rolled and smacked on the front door of the house. After the First Footer enters, someone else is chosen who has a fresh and clean spirit. It is also the fruit that, until fairly recently, young brides would toss into the threshold of their new homes, the seeds bursting forth representing their hopes for a marriage filled with children and good fortune. Comments Off on Kalo Podariko – New Year’s Tradition of Smashing Pomegranates. First footers often practice their technique before New Year’s in order to make sure they bring the family as much luck as possible. This person will enter first with their right foot. If very few seeds are scattered, the luck won’t be as much as it would be if a lot of seeds came out. When Persephone's mother, Demeter, realizes who took her daughter, she becomes a recluse and ceases to make the earth fertile. The pomegranate could also be an allusion to the Greek myth of Persephone. In Greek Mythology the pomegranate fruit is a symbol of humanity’s central beliefs and ideals, namely, life and death, rebirth and eternal life, fertility and marriage, and abundance. I was first introduced to the regal pomegranate about a decade ago by a Greek folklorist. The Greek New Year’s Tradition of Hanging Onions on Doors. According to the legend of pomegranate Greek mythology, the fruit is known as the fruit of the underworld, Hades, and death. The pomegranate fruit is delicious which is sweet but also quite tart.

Demeter, goddess of agriculture and spring, begged for her daughter’s return but Persephone had been tricked into eating six pomegranate seeds in the land of the dead and was permitted to come back for only part of the year. The ancient Greeks believed that the pomegranate first appeared in Cyprus, having been planted there by Aphrodite. Eighty Years Later Greece Repeats Its Historic OXI, This Time to…, Why Turkey’s New Provocation is the Most Dangerous Yet, EU Leaders Give Turkey a Slap on the Wrist, Greek FM Dendias in Quarantine; Albanian Archbishop Hospitalized with Covid in Athens. Alternatively, this custom can occur on New Year’s Day when the family members wear their Sunday best, go to church to attend the Divine Liturgy of Basil of Caesarea, and welcome the New Year. Greek cuisine is filled with recipes for pomegranate. Symbolism of the Pomegranate. The best pomegranates are large, heavy for their size and have deep red skin. The most renowned myth associated with the pomegranate fruit is the one of the abduction of Persephone by Hades. Written by GreekBoston.com in Greek New Year Traditions Comments Off on Kalo Podariko – New Year’s Tradition of Smashing Pomegranates. Pomegranate: The Ancient Greek Symbol of Life, Good Fortune for the New... Archbishop of all Greece Ieronymos, Synod Members in Coronavirus Self-Isolation, Covid-19: Record 43 Deaths in Greece; New Emergency Measures Announced, Greek FM Dendias in Quarantine; Albanian Archbishop Hospitalized with Covid in…, Greek Foreign Ministry Issues Demarche to Turkey Over New Navtex, Turkish Cypriots Rally Against Erdogan’s Plan for a Picnic at Varosha, Cyprus President Anastasiades Congratulates “Good Friend” Joe Biden, Muslim Demonstrators Attack French Embassy in Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Cyprus to “Create New Geography of Understanding”, Erdogan Plans to Have Picnic in the Occupied Cypriot Town of…, Drone Captures Bird’s Eye View of the “Black Hole” in Greece’s…, New Study Shows Huge Benefits of High-Phenolic Early Harvest Olive Oil, Stunning Shot of Santorini Wins Award in Aerial Photography Competition, Greek CEO of Pfizer Gives Hope to the Planet with New…, The 61st Thessaloniki International Film Festival Launches Virtually, Stelios Kerasidis Becomes Youngest Greek Student in Prestigious Music Academy, When Sean Connery Called for the Return of the Parthenon Marbles…, German Idol Films in Mykonos’ Iconic Little Venice, Refugee from Moria Camp Signs Professional Football Contract with Greek Club, Late Goal Gives Olympiacos a Winning Start in Champions League, Greek PM Nixes Plan for Return of Fans to Football Stadiums, Athens By Night for Greek Superstars Antetokounmpo, Tsitsipas. According to the myth, Hades offered the fruit to Persefone in order to seal their eternal bond. The third and final day, the Calligenera, was devoted to the fertility of women and the eating of pomegranate seeds was an important part of the rituals. It is a sign of luck, prosperity and fertility. The pomegranate is still the symbol of our modern day January New Year’s.

Before the New Year, it is also the tradition to put mossy stones near the front door. This person. At Akrotiri on Santorini Island excavations brought to light urns with motifs of the pomegranate fruit. He then smashes the pomegranate either in front of the door or against the door, and he makes a wish that the juicy, bounteous ruby-like segments of the fruit flood the home with good health and happiness — and as many joys occur as the pomegranate has arils. In decorative arts the symbol of pomegranate is very frequent, such as in case of the art of fabrics and in the art of pottery. It is an excellent condiment in glazes, sauces and stews.

When Persephone is … referred to as the First Footer, is tasked with the special moment of being the first one to step into the home. Often, the pomegranate will be placed above or to the side of the front door at Christmas, and it will hang there until it is used on New Year’s Eve. It was known to the Egyptians as far back as the sixteenth century b.c. Ancient Greeks believed that the pomegranate’s ruby-like arils, or seeds, symbolized abundance, perhaps because of their quantity. In Greece, the fruit is so popular at this time of the year that you can not only find it whole but already cleaned in little plastic containers in the refrigerated fruit section of the supermarket. Cut the fruit in half and place the open side face down over a bowl. Pomegranate is nutritious and rich in sugars, vitamins A, B, C, minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium and iron, and has more antioxidants than red wine or green tea. Since the rituals that surround New Year’s usually involve ways to bring luck, it makes sense that the pomegranates are part of this. From earliest times, the pomegranate has been the fruit of fertility, of death and rebirth, of hope. The more seeds that are scattered at the foot of the front door of the home, the more luck that that household will have for the year. Frequently used as a symbol of brotherhood and union, from the East to the West, pomegranate is the symbol of fertility and posterity, symbols which are well represented by the image and structure of pomegranate.

It is also a sign of renewal and regeneration. We rarely cook with it, tending instead to eat the raw kernels of the fruit like popcorn. The more seeds that scatter on the floor, the luckier the New Year will be. Written by GreekBoston.com in Greek New Year Traditions The pomegranate trees, were known since ancient times, and mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, where they grow on the island of Scheria or Phaeacia in the gardens of King Alcinous. This miraculous fruit is also a unique natural cosmetic. Today in Greece, echoes of the ancient world can still be found in the way pomegranates are eaten and used decoratively. Categorized in: Greek New Year Traditions, on Kalo Podariko – New Year’s Tradition of Smashing Pomegranates, About the New Year’s Tradition of Vasilopita. She was giving a talk on the symbolism of food, and it became obvious that of all the fruits in the Greek garden the pomegranate, with its turret-like crown, its course, ruddy skin and honeycomb of ruby beads within, is one of the most ancient and mythical. One person will be chosen as especially lucky, and they will be the first to reenter the household. That’s what pomegranate has been to Greeks for many, many years. On Crete Island Minoan findings also carry the fruit shape in paintings (17th century BC) where in Mycenae a beautiful necklace depicts golden pomegranates motifs. Persia, Armenia, the Caucasus, India, even the Himalayas are among the places that have been called the pomegranate’s first home. This site uses cookies. She was giving a talk on the symbolism of food, and it became obvious that of all the fruits in the Greek garden the pomegranate, with its turret-like crown, its course, ruddy skin and honeycomb of ruby beads within, is one of the most ancient and mythical. Most often in cooking, it is used either in juiced form, or once it has already been processed to molasses, a kind of tart and sweet petimezi. Naturally, many of the pomegranate seeds will be revealed and fall out of the pomegranate. Furthermore Theophrastus and Hippocrates also refer to the fruit for its healing properties. Lots of archaeological finds prove that the pomegranate fruit was known in the Mediterranean area in antiquity as it was reflected on ancient art. Like so many other plants known to the Mediterranean today, it probably started its journey westward from the Middle East. Pomegranate symbolism is very prevalent in the history of the world's religions and throughout mythology. Kids’ Books About Spain Uses for Pomegranate. If the First Footer does his or her job correctly, the household will experience plenty of good luck throughout the year!

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