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It's that time of year: I'm looking for examples in the hero cycle where the hero returns in the spring. Also where gods (other than "dying and resurrecting gods") make an appearance/reappearance in the spring and where the time of year is important in the myth.

What examples does anyone know of in which heroes or gods return in the spring?

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Well, in Greek mythology, the story of Persephone tells us that she would go into the underworld for a period of time, and come back.

Demeter would "make" it winter until Persephone would come back. Obviously, when she would come back, it would be warmer, so it would be spring.

Some theoi evidence:

Persephone was titled Kore (the Maiden) as the goddess of spring's bounty. Once upon a time when she was playing in a flowery meadow with her Nymph companions, Kore was seized by Haides and carried off to the underworld as his bride. Her mother Demeter despaired at her dissappearance and searched for her the throughout the world accompanied by the goddess Hekate bearing torches. When she learned that Zeus had conspired in her daughter's abduction she was furious, and refused to let the earth fruit until Persephone was returned. Zeus consented, but because the girl had tasted of the food of Haides--a handful of pomegranate seeds--she was forced to forever spend a part of the year with her husband in the underworld. Her annual return to the earth in spring was marked by the flowering of the meadows and the sudden growth of the new grain. Her return to the underworld in winter, conversely, saw the dying down of plants and the halting of growth.

She was even the goddess of spring bounty, but that was the story of spring, basically.

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  • Thanks, but I had asked about heroes and gods, not goddesses. – Arthur George Mar 22 '16 at 5:07
  • Also, Persephone is an example of a "dying and resurrecting god", which is explicitly excluded in the question. – yannis Mar 22 '16 at 8:38
  • @ArthurGeorge Curious: why limit the question to "heroes and gods, not goddesses"? – user62 Mar 22 '16 at 12:15
  • Depends on your definition of death @C.M.Weimer. If we define death as descending into Hades, then Persephone does die (and is resurrected) once per year. – yannis Mar 22 '16 at 12:25
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    In answer to Hamlet's question, I didn't inquire about the goddesses and their trips to the underworld because that is so well-known. I just want to make sure I'm not missing any heroes or gods who return/reappear in the spring. – Arthur George Mar 22 '16 at 21:04

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