For those of you unfamiliar with mythology, the general story of Demeter and her daughter Persephone is that Zeus, king of all the gods and Persephone’s Dad, promises Persephone to Hades as his bride – Hades is king of the underworld. He doesn’t tell Demeter about this because, understandably, she would be pissed.
Demeter holds sway over the earth. She is the goddess of corn and grain, of the harvest. When Hades takes Persephone to the underworld, Demeter searches the earth to find her daughter, but cannot. Finally, Helios, god of the sun, who sees everything, tells her what happened. She is so pissed off and distraught that she declares nothing will grow on the earth again. Earth becomes barren pretty quickly, and something must be done.
Zeus finally tells Hades he has to release Persephone or else everyone on earth will be fucked. Hades agrees, but before he lets her go, convinces Persephone to eat a few pomegranate seeds.
Persephone return to Demeter and they are overjoyed at their reunion, and Demeter restores the earth’s bounty. But, she also asked if Persephone ate anything while she was in the underworld. Persephone confesses to the pomegranate seeds. Demeter is heartbroken. You see, if you eat anything in the underworld, it means you must remain there FOREVER.
To maintain some balance on the earth so everyone wouldn’t starve, it was decided that Persephone could visit and stay with her mother for some months of the year, every year. During these months, earth would flourish, give life, plants would grow and food would be in abundance. Hence, we have spring, summer and fall. Then she had return to the underworld for the remainder of the year, when everything would grow cold and dark and be allowed to die, as Demeter mourned without her daughter’s company. Hence, winter.
Two days of summer in my life, tonight and tomorrow. Then back to winter.