Symbols - What does heaven look like
The pumpkin is symbolically the same as the Egg and the Pomegranate. One of its advantages as a symbol is that its seeds are numerous and easily seen. Seed in this context is synonymous symbolically with grain and seed.
In some traditional stories it was also used as a symbolic means of transport much like a chariot. Occasionally other similar fruit are used – water melons, for example – especially if they have a lot of seeds. The pumpkin’s symbolism is particularly apt as it contains hundreds of seeds and can thus be used to symbolise souls being delivered to new babies. Thus the pumpkin symbolically was the favourite mechanism for delivering souls to the new born
Some examples of the use of the pumpkin in myth and legend or religions include:
- The pumpkin was the emblem of the second of the Chinese Eight Immortals – Li T'ieh Kuai – a legendary figure who could leave his body and visit heaven
- Cinderella with her glass [crystal] slipper is taken to a palace by a pumpkin that turns into a golden coach.
- One myth widespread in IndoChina tells how mankind was wholly annihilated by a 'deluge', [flood] apart from one brother and sister who have a miraculous escape in a pumpkin. They marry, the girl gives birth to a pumpkin and from its seeds arose the race of all men
- In India, Sumodi the wife of King Sagara of Ayodhi gives birth to a pumpkin from which 60,000 children emerge [the Ramayana]
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