According to Sicilian tradition, on New Year’s Eve, a particular kind of lucky fruit and legumes cannot be left out of the dinner: lentils, grapes and pomegranates.
Lentils and grapes have a rounded shape, like coins. Anyone who eats them during New Year’s Eve dinner will have a lucky, money-rich year.
The pomegranate is the fruit that made Kore fall in love with Hades.
The myth says that Demeter’s daughter, Kore, was gathering flowers on the shores of Lake Pergusa, Sicily, when Hades came out of a cave with his chariot drawn by four swift steeds, abducted her and led her to the underworld.
Upon her arrival in the Kingdom of Hades, Kore refused to become his wife. She wanted to go back to the surface of the earth and stay with her mother, but Hades resorted to an expedient. To make her fall in love with him, he offered her some pomegranate grains. As soon as Kore ate six pomegranate grains, her love for Hades blossomed and she became the queen of the underground, under the new name of Persephone.
Nowadays in Sicily, lovers eat pomegranate grains on New Year’s Eve to keep faithful to each other in the year to come. On the other hand, those who do not have a lover eat this fruit to find a soul mate.
As for me, even if I am not a superstitious person, I am going to eat lentils, grapes, and pomegranate grains at New Year’s Eve dinner. You never know!
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind