On the first day of the New Year, in many Greek homes, the new year is welcomed by opening a pomegranate for good luck.
It is also common to receive a metal pomegranate ( ‘ρόδι’) with a red ribbon, as a gift, to bring good luck ( ‘γούρι ») for the new year.
The Greek traditions include the opening of a pomegranate for good luck, at weddings, fertility and prosperity. This tradition goes back to the history of the Greeks and other ancient cultures.
This beautiful red fruit was a symbol of fertility and rebirth in ancient Greece. Many goddesses had it as their symbol: Hera, the goddess of marriage, Venus the goddess of beauty and Persephone, daughter of Demeter, who brought the spring while also being the Queen of the Underworld.
The myth that connects Persephone with the pomegranate is truly wonderful. After her abduction by Hades, she had to return back up to earth, close to her mother, Dimitra, to revive the withered and frozen earth. Hades gave her a few pomegranate seeds so she wouldn’t forget him!
She gladly accepted them, and that way remembered to return close to her husband and her kingdom!