Written by Stamie Turner on January 01, 2014
In Greece, many Families gather on New Year’s Eve to renew ties, welcome in the new year together and share in traditions all having to do with good fortune, health/longevity and prosperity for the the new year.
Just before the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, all of the lights are turned off to cast darkness on “the old” and then all of the family members exit the home. Someone in the family who is considered lucky is selected and handed the pomegranate, which has been hanging either on or above the door since the beginning of the Christmas season.
When the new year turns, the pomegranate is smashed on the floor in front of the door or on the door itself to break it open and reveal an abundance of seeds symbolizing good fortune and prosperity for the new year. The lights are turned on to cast light on “the new” and everyone wishes each other “Xronia Polla.”
This tradition is all about getting off on the right foot and starting the year anew with fresh thoughts, good feelings and hope for a good year filed with good fortune, much prosperity and good health. The same person, or another considered good or lucky — usually a child because their hearts are innocent and without malice — then steps into the home using the right foot (Καλό ποδαρικό or good foot), thus giving the family an omen of good luck for the new year. All other family members then follow, also entering with the right foot.
Why a Pomegranate?
The pomegranate is a fruit with a history going back to ancient times and figures prominently in Greek mythology. It is a symbol of regeneration, fertility, prosperity and the inseparable marriage of life and death. The pomegranate is best illustrated in the myth about Persephone, who was both daughter of Demeter (goddess of grain, harvest, seasons and fertility) and Demeter’s younger self. Hades, god of the underworld, abducted Persephone and would not let her return to Earth, thus leaving it barren and infertile in Demeter’s depression. When Zeus sent Hermes to retrieve Persephone, she had already eaten six pomegranate seeds, which committed her to return to the underworld for six months each year. The seasons of spring, summer and fall represent the six months when Persephone is happily reunited with Demeter on Earth.
Hence, the metaphor and representation of the pomegranate for continued growth, dormancy, and regrowth….. It is believed that the pomegranate has 613 seeds. Seeds of Prosperity. Good luck. Abundance. Generosity. In the Jewish faith, the pomegranate is a symbol of righteousness and the seeds correspond to the 613 commandments of the Torah. Are you wanting to count the seeds of a pomegranate?
2013 was labeled the year of double blessings. There were many blessings. I have always been fascinated by the number 13. Paraskevidekatriaphobic: The fear of Friday the 13th. Paraskevi is the Greek word for Friday. The year two thousand and thirteen brought in two Friday the 13th’s separated by 13 weeks. 13 is Taylor Swift’s favorite number yet it is a number feared by many yet represents much.
In the bible the number 13 is a number of promise and blessings. A new life. On the dollar bill,there are 13 stars around the eagle, 13 stripes below it, 13 arrows in its left hand, 13 leaves on the right side. The pyramid has 13 layers on the front side and there were 13 colonies. E. PLURIBUS UUM has 13 letters and Mark 17:21-23 says there 13 evils in the human heart. Children go to school for 13 years and there used to only be 13 channels on a television.
So, goodbye year 2013. It has been a good year. A year filled with many blessings. Hello 2014! Getting it off on the right foot! 613 and more blessings to you!