That Food is Magical

18 Oct

In the story of Momotaro, foods contain mythic powers and are central to the tale’s plot. Momotaro arrived to Earth inside a peach. When his mother cracked the peach open, a baby was inside. This metaphorical opening of the fruit symbolizes his birth, the peachy insides acting as a womb. The fruit contains the hero and is localized as a mythic fruit in Japan, connecting Momotaro to a peach. Also, the millet dumplings contain a mythic source of energy and power for Momotaro. Offering the food to animals, Momotaro builds a small army to defeat the evil ogres. The dumplings contain a powerful aura and aid Momotaro on his journey. The peach and the dumplings have mythic implications in this folk tale.

The story of Dionysus provides a mythic tie to wine. The child of Zeus and a mortal (Zeus was a player), Dionysus was born illegitimately. Zeus’ wife succeeded in killing Dionysus’ mom, but was less effective in murdering the child. Taken by Zeus, Dionysus gained his fathers’ strength. After Zeus’ wife destroyed him, Dionysus’ powers gave him immortality. Reborn, Dionysus was filled with both joy and rage. His story symbolizes the grapes’ cycle, with the vines being pruned and later pulled to bear fruit. Dionysus energy is contained in the wine, filling up the drinker with a greater power. One can either be joyous and ebullient, or angry. The Greeks celebrate Dionysus in the Spring with an enormous festival. The grapes contain a mythic quality traced to Dionysus’ story.


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