HOW WINTER CAME TO BE
Persephone is the goddess of the underworld. She is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, goddess of the harvest. Persephone was such a beautiful young woman that everyone loved her, even Hades wanted her for himself. One day, when she was collecting flowers on the plain of Enna, the earth suddenly opened and Hades rose up from the gap and abducted her. None but Zeus, and the all-seeing sun, Helios, had noticed it.
Broken-hearted, Demeter wandered the earth, looking for her daughter until Helios revealed what had happened. Demeter was so angry that she withdrew herself in loneliness, and the earth ceased to be fertile. Knowing this could not continue much longer, Zeus sent Hermes down to Hades to make him release Persephone. Hades reluctantly agreed, but before she went back he gave Persephone a pomegranate. When she later ate of it, it bound her to underworld forever and she had to stay there one-third of the year. The other months she stayed with her mother. When Persephone was with Hades, Demeter refused to let anything grow and winter began.
. The name Persephone is from Greek origins. It means spring, voice of destruction. It can also of English origin, in which case it means, person slayer.
. Persephone was the goddess queen of the underworld, wife of the god Hades. She was also the goddess of spring growth, who was worshipped alongside her mother Demeter.
. Her offspring include the god Zagreus and the goddess Melinoe, whose father was also Zeus.