Additional Information to the Story of Demeter...

When Demeter went to Earth in search of Persephone, she went to Eleusis (a place in Greece) disguised as a mortal woman. She stays with a family, and ends up being given a son to nurse. Demeter wants to make the son immortal, so she places him in the fire each night, in order to rid him of his mortal flesh. The child’s mother witness this, however, and her scream causes the child to be killed in the fire. After this, Demeter is said to have given the eldest son of the family either the knowledge of agriculture, or the gift of wheat, which he spreads all over the Earth. From these happenings in Eleusis, there is the celebration of the Eleusian Mysteries. When Demeter had first arrived, a woman named Iambe made her laugh, and so jokes and vulgarities are spoken as rituals at this festival. Demeter is said to have been fasting while she searched for her daughter, and the fasting was broken when Iambe made her laugh, so fasting is incorporated in the celebration as well. In addition, there is torch lit dancing, coming from the search of Persephone using a torch. Persephone’s absence and return, resulting in the ending and beginning of growth on Earth, is a symbol of death and rebirth. Therefore, the celebration is supposed to help with the afterlife, because it was held in honor of the story of Demeter and Persephone.