The Symbolism Of The Pilgrim Gourd

The symbolism of the pilgrim gourd

The pilgrim gourd comes from a plant known as the legendary. Its fruit has been used as a household tool for thousands of years.
The pilgrim gourd has been used over the centuries on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. It was formed of a double belly, suitable to contain water, wine or any other drink. Its size used to be something less than one liter, and it was typical for the pilgrims to hang it on a hook, on the stick they used to help them hike. It was also used to carry the extra supply of wine they were given in hospitals when they arrived sick or exhausted from the pilgrimage.

What does the pilgrim gourd mean?

During the journey to Santiago, Pilgrims carried this gourd hanging on the stick, or sometimes hanging on the waist. Normally, it was used as a canteen to carry the water for the walk. Other times, it would be filled with wine, purchased in the taverns or hospitals from the route, or even with medicine or drinkable potions.

There are different theories regarding the meaning of the gourd and it’s symbolism of the Camino de Santiago. The most popular says that the gourd in Christian art symbolizes the brevity and vanity of human life, because it is a fruit that grows fast and spoils soon. Among its other meanings, it’s also known as a symbol of fertility due to the amount of seeds inside it.
Buen Camino!

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