In Ancient Greek Mythology, Persephone was tricked into staying in the underworld because she ate 6 pomegranate seeds. 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. Hindus believe that the pomegranate fruit is a fertility enhancer and recommends that women who want to get pregnant eat this fruit in abundance. 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. Symbolism of the Pomegranate. We would do well to adopt the pomegranate as a new addition to our larder, or at best to follow the advice of an old folk belief from the East: “Eat the pomegranate. Pomegranates, as a symbol of fertility, were also an important part in the worship of Demeter during the ancient festival held in her honor, open only to women for three days each October. For example, combined with walnuts and wheat stalks, pomegranates appear in the wreaths that bedeck doorways in the fall, a custom that dates to antiquity when autumn marked the start of the year.

Can the Deadly Earthquake Reduce Tensions Between Greece and Turkey? We rarely cook with it, tending instead to eat the raw kernels of the fruit like popcorn. 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. On Milos Island in Phylakopi, pomegranates were painted on urns. The Greek myth about Persephone -- a Greek goddess who is kidnapped by Hades -- uses pomegranates to represent nature, fertility and seasonal changes. Furthermore Theophrastus and Hippocrates also refer to the fruit for its healing properties. Luck fruit. Pomegranate is an ancient red fruit, which has been the symbol of fertility, prosperity and regeneration for thousands of years in Greece and in Greek mythology. I was first introduced to the regal pomegranate about a decade ago by a Greek folklorist. It reigns supreme in the cuisines of Georgia and of Persia and is found readily in kitchens all over the Middle East.

Written by GreekBoston.com in Greek New Year Traditions This site uses cookies. It was known to the Egyptians as far back as the sixteenth century b.c. The more seeds that scatter on the floor, the luckier the New Year will be. Lots of archaeological finds prove that the pomegranate fruit was known in the Mediterranean area in antiquity as it was reflected on ancient art. We know that the fruit was familiar very early to the region of India because there is a word for it in Sanskrit. CLICK HERE – Read Before You Go! 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. The pomegranate was also closely associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries as priests wore wreaths made of twigs from pomegranate trees during these ceremonies.