Ensuring abundance of food~ Polysporia


November sowning seeds. Manuscript, 1346, Vatopedi monastery

Religious rituals and symbolic practices in which food is used to secure the future harvest are still important in Greece. Their parallels are found in very ancient times, when fertility and food security were  matters of life or death.
Τhe 21th  of November is dedicated to the Presentation of Virgin Mary to the Temple. This feast is also known as Panagia Mesosporitissa (Panagia= Virgin Mary, mesos= middle, sporos= seed),  Panagia Archisporitissa (archisporitissa = the sowing begins) Panagia Aposporitissa (= the sowing is over) or Polysporitissa (many seeds) because of the offering of legumes and grains  of the latest harvest. They are boiled together and brought to the church in order to be blessed by the priest. Then they are eaten by those attending the liturgy, under wishes for a rich crop. It is said that the grains grow faster if they are sown until the 21th of November, thus,  there is a rain litany during the festival, if the rains has not started. 

Please click here to read about the rituals of magical rain- making in modern and ancient Greece. Pay special attention to the ”Celebration of the Presentation of the Panagia (the Virgin Mary) on 21 November in relation to the ancient festivals of Demeter”, p. 205-208. 
And click here for more feasts connected with polysporia. 


Για ελληνικά, ΕΔΩ!!
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