|Demeter Mourning for Persephone (1906) Evelyn de Morgan|
Not immediately Christmas-y, but very relevant for today, as the official start of Winter. Demeter, sister-wife of Zeus (very complicated family, obviously) had a beautiful daughter called Persephone (or Proserpine, depending on who is telling the story or painting the picture). One day, Persephone's wicked uncle, Hades, stole her off to the Underworld. Demeter, beside herself with worry and grief, neglected her duties as goddess of the harvests and all of nature fell into despair with her.
|Proserpine (Persephone) Dante Gabriel Rossetti|
|The Return of Proserpine Frederick Leighton|
Anyway, Hermes negotiated the beautiful Persephone's release on the condition that she returned to Hades each year for the same number of months as seeds she had consumed. So every year, Persephone goes back to the underworld and her mother goes into mourning, and that is why we have Winter.
Well, it's now coming up to lunchtime, I'm still on the sofa (Lily has gone off to play with her assortment of brightly-coloured ponies) and it still isn't light. I think I'll have something comforting for lunch and have a bit of a hibernate.
See you tomorrow...