Symbols The thunderbolt Sometimes seated on a throne Zeus and Kronos



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The Pythian games were held at Delphi. Unlike other sporting festivals, the Olympics and the Heraia games, the Pythian games also had music and poetry competitions. Winners in the games were presented with a wreath made from laurel leaves - a tree that was sacred to Apollo.

Demeter was the goddess of fertility and agriculture. She was an important goddess for farmers and women. Demeter was also associated with the underworld.

Symbols

  • A mature woman.

  • Sheaves of grain.

Demeter and Persephone

Persephone was Demeter's daughter. One day while Persephone was gathering flowers, Hades, god of the underworld, captured her. No one had any idea where she had gone to or what had happened to her.

Demeter was sick with worry and grief. She asked Helios the sun god what had happened. When she learned that Hades had captured her daughter she became very angry. For a year she caused crops and plants to wither and die. A terrible famine gripped the earth.



Zeus commanded that Hades release Persephone. Persephone was overjoyed. However he tricked her into eating some pomegranate seeds before she left the underworld. He knew that if she ate anything from the land of the dead, she would have to return to him for a part of each year.

Demeter was delighted that her daughter had returned to her. However every time Persephone had to return to Hades, Demeter mourned terribly again. This is why for a part of each year the plants and crops stop growing. When Persephone returns to earth, the land once again bursts with life.




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