Hittite Spring Equinox: Purulli Festival

“Let the land prosper and thrive, and let the land be protected”…..from the myth of the Illuyanka.

musicians hittite

Spring equinox was  celebrated as a fertility ritual  in the Land of the Hatti.  The celebration of these rites were reflected on some rock reliefs that were discovered  in Ancient Anatolia.  A cuneiform tablet found during the excavations contains a reference to ‘the mighty festival of the beginning of the year’ when all the gods have gathered and come to the house of the Hattic  Weather God  (Teshub) and the Hurrian sun goddess Hebat to eat, drink and pronounce the life of the king and queen and the life of heaven and earth’.


Hebat, sun goddess of Arinna from Central Anatolia, exhibited in Metropolitan Museum

Spring equinox was the New Year Festival known as Purulli (Festival of the Earth)  at the vernal equinox in the Land of Hatti and it is believed that Yazılıkaya was the most likely place where the celebrations took place and ended in a sacred marriage.  The purpose of the festival was to reinvigorate the earth and overcome the stagnation of winter.

yazi 3

Yazılıkaya Hittite sanctuary

The vegetation renewal myth of the festival reenacts the drama of the battle between the weather-god of Heaven and the dragon Illuyanka who represents a repetition of the first time, when real chaos was defeated and cosmos emerged.


Teshup kills the dragon illuyanka, Anatolian Civilizations Museum at Ankara

Hittites’ land and Ankara can be visited in three days escursion. Ankara Anatolian Civilization museum has the unique collection of the Hittites’.


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