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Ceramic Pomegrantes

Pomegranate: Symbolism and Significance

The pomegranate has long been one of the few fruits to have a cultural and religious significance. Apart from its delicious taste and aesthetic phenotype, it has been viewed as a symbol of fertility and power in my cultures. Significantly, the holy land of Jerusalem has ancient links to the staple. Similarly, Islam and Christianity also view pomegranates for their vitality, partly due to their Judaic roots. Now! Let’s find out more about the fruit and how it became part of modern art and culture, preceded by a brief introduction to the pomegranate tree.

The common scientific name for pomegranate trees is Punica granatum. Early evidence suggests that it originated in Persia and spread to other regions with a dry and warm climate. The cultural and religious significance of Pomegranate and its association with vitality and fertility can also be viewed in terms of the average lifetime of 200 years. Moreover, pomegranates ripen during late summer and can be utilized throughout the winters due to its strong peel and longer shelf life. In addition, the name “granatum” originates from the fact that early bombs made by Europeans resembled Pomegranate in shape, grenade! Later, it became Punica granatum.

Scientifically, pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits to consume; rich in fibers, vitamins, and micro nutrients. The holy land of Jerusalem and adjoining areas are famous for their squeezed Pomegranate juice. And if someone gets a chance to travel the Holy land, you can observe that a squeezed Pomegranate juice is the first thing anyone would offer a guest. Moreover, it is also used in salad and served as a dessert. In addition, Pomegranate is also used as a staple ingredient in many traditional medicinal formulas; the seed and the peel are also used in the process. The process of peeling a pomegranate is tedious as it is curved in a shape that has layers of husks; however, it is indeed rewarding.

The rich religious symbolism and cultural significance of the Pomegranate date back to the times of ancient Greeks; it was believed that the harsh winters of the Mediterranean were caused by a three pomegranate seeds curse that sent Persephone (Daughter of Zeus and Demeter in Greek mythology) to the underworld. Furthermore, according to some Ibrahimic traditions, Adam and Eve were forbidden from eating Pomegranate, and it became the cause of their fall from heaven or, more precisely, their innocence. Finally, some factions consider it a sacred fruit in Judaism, whereas most of them consume it during Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) due to its symbolic attire of fruitfulness.

This association can also be seen in the national symbol of Armenia, which is predominantly Christian and has large Jewish settlements. In Christianity, there is a metaphor that refers to peeling Pomegranate and harvesting seeds as a passion of Jesus Christ.  Moreover, in the village of Taybeh on the west bank, the pomegranate is known by its Arabic name Roman. The pomegranate has a particular relation to this village as the village icon depicts Virgin Mary holding Jesus with a pomegranate in his hands. The icon is interpreted in several ways; regardless of any of the views, the fact that it depicts Jesus Christ with a pomegranate in his hands has resulted in the association of fertility with it.

Pomegranates tree

Pomegranate seeds are used in various other purposes in Christianity; for example, it is used in burial and memorial rites. It is used as an edible decorative on several occasions and is often placed in a location that everybody quickly sees in the ceremony. It symbolizes continuation and renewal of life or, in other words, the eternity of human life and abundance even in the cold winters. Similarly, Islam also symbolizes Pomegranate as representing wellness, wealth, and harvest. It is considered as one of the heavenly fruits and has been mentioned in Quran three times. Therefore, Muslims have always viewed Pomegranate as a blessing and often eat with the pretext that it would be one of the fruits to be served in heaven for those who will live according to the doctrines of Islam and are pious.

At Antaquia, we feel proud to provide you with handcrafted art pieces depicting the essence of this precious fruit. Our pomegranates are made of ceramics, and people find it pleasing to use them as décor objects and gift items, so, why not check some of them while you are here!

Proserpine with pomegranate
Butterfly, caterpillar and pomegranate painting

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