Almost all the great religions of the world have sanctified the pomegranate and ascribed manifold meanings to it. The mythology of ancient Greece regarded this fruit as the symbol of life, marnage and rebirth in the abduction story of Persephone by Hades, the god of the underworld.
The pomegranate fruit is assumed to have originated in Iran and Afghanistan. The fruit was used as a holy symbol and respected in zoroastrian worshipping ceremonies and rituals.The pomegranate symbolized the soul’s immortality and the perfection of nature for Zoroastrians. Then it became a port of the Iranian mythology which tells that Esfandiyar became an invincible hero after he ate the pomegranate.
The pomegranate plant is evergreen throughout the year, enabling thus the human mind to attribute to it the immortality of the soul. In time, the many seeds in a single fruit have come to stand for prosperity.
Many holy scripts refer to the pomegranate seed, pay tribute to the beauty of the blooming pomegranate and the taste of its fruit, making it the symbol of prosperity and fertility.
The pomegranate fruit has also become a meaningful form in architectural styles. The renowned palace of King Solomon had columns, the capitals of which were all adorned with the pomegranate form. Other jewish kings’ palaces also had many walls that displayed similar decorations among leaf forms.
Buddhism also attributes a holy meaning to the pomegranate along with some other fruits.
It is not astonishing to encounter the pomegranate as the symbol of eternal life and the Doom’s Day in Virgin Mary’s and Jesus’ statues throughout the Christian world.
Islamic thought placed pomegranate trees in the gardens of Eden and muslims believe that it is a holy tree because of it.
Newly weds in Anatolia and the Middle East are still served pomegranates to bless them with a lot of offspring.
For Muslims, the pomegranate is also a symbol of beauty, it is said to give beauty to those who eat it. Prophet Mohammed has advised pregnant women to eat pomegranates if they wanted beautiful children.
Along with olive, dates and fig trees, the pomegranate tree is one of the four holy trees for Islam.
The jewish mysticism called Kabbala reveres the pomegranate in many of its rituals; their followers “burst” a pomegranate at home and in work places on religious days to call for fertility and lucrative businesses.
In modern turkey today, many families throw a pomegranate on the floor and “crack” it on the New Year’s Eve to have a plentiful new year.