Monday, March 12, 2012

Death to Winter - Hittite Purulli

"Let the land grow and thrive, let the land be secure!- and when it grows and thrives, then perform the festival of Purulli." ("The Anatolian Myth of Illuyanka". Beckman, Gary)

The Hittite festival of Purulli celebrates the destruction of the serpent dragon, Illuyanka, by the sky god,Tarhun. Each spring, the festival is held in honor of the mother goddess, Hannahannah, who is tempermental like Demeter and disappears for the winter.

She gets a new a new king.  Illuyanka just gets it.

The stone depiction of Tarhun slaying Illuyanka above is from a temple at Hattusa.Take a closer look at Tarhun and you'll notice he's got a lightning bolt and a hammer, because he's the Hittite version of Zeus, altough I don't know why he's got Thor's hammer.

So the story goes like this:

Illuyanka and Tarhun get in a fight. Tarhun loses his heart and eyes to Illuyanka. (Enter Winter, I think.) Illuyanka retreats to his world under the sea/earth (depends on the version), but then Tarhun's son (by a mortal) marries Illuyanka's daughter. The son of Tarhun demands the heart and eyes of his father from the bride's family (in the underworld). Whole once more, Tarhun goes after Illuyanka and slays the serpent. (Welcome Spring!)

There are similarities to other myths like Shahmeran, Typhon, Chimaera...I can keep's the battle of good and evil. But also remember, the snake is a symbol of rebirth, because it sheds it's skin, so this is probably why this myth is associated with spring.

And don't forget:

"The Illuyankas is an enemy in Final Fantasy VI. Like most enemies in Umaro's cave, it frequently inflicts the Imp status using its special attack, Friendmaker. It only has a hundred MP and dies when it runs out, so a single cast of Rasp against it will quickly kill it. It may drop a White Cape, a useful Relic for the cave as it makes the wearer immune to Imp. (

Can't wait for Illuyankas to show up in one of my stories. ;)


Sarah said...

Fascinating! So interesting to hear myths from different cultures and time periods. Thanks, Carolyn!

Old Kitty said...

Hannahhannah! Love the name!

So glad spring is here! But what a bloody passionate myth!! Love, revenge, death.. blimey!! :-)

Take care
x said...

Fascinating and a great source of inspiration. I look forward to reading your story based on those mythological creatures.

LTM said...

Wow! That's some story. I tell you, I love learning about myths like this, and Cat's doing the same thing now. They're so fascinating and such great jumping off points for inspiration.

Who knew snakes = symbol for rebirth? Crazy. :o) <3

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