Aside from Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and all things merry, there are many other gods and goddesses of alcohol in cultures all over the globe. Here we’ll take a look at some of the lesser known ones.
Liber, also known as Liber Pater (the free father) was a god of viticulture and wine, fertility and freedom. His festival of Liberalia, on 17th March, became associated with free speech and the rights attached to coming of age. Young men celebrated their coming of age by cutting off and dedicating their first beards to their household’s guardian deities. Liber also personified male sexuality and his temples held the image of the phallus. His cult increasingly became associated with Bacchus and his Greek equivalent Dionysus, whose mythologies he came to share. For Online wine merchants in Northern Ireland, visit http://thewinecompanyni.com/.
Mbaba Mwana Waresa, Zulu Goddess, South Africa
In the Zulu religion, Mbaba Mwana Waresa is a fertility goddess. She is also a goddess of the rainbow, agriculture, rain and beer. As she is credited with the invention of beer, she is one of the most beloved goddesses of Southern Africa. She could not find a suitable husband in heaven, so she came to look on earth where she came across a herdsman named Thandiwe, whose singing she loved so much that she chose him to be her companion. Lucky for us or beer may have stayed in heaven!
Raugutiene and Raugupatis, Baltic God and Goddess
Raugupatis is known as the god of fermentation and Raugutiene is his partner and she is known as the goddess of beer.
Radegast, Slavic God
Radegast, is an old god of Slavic mythology and his name means something like “Dear guest”. He was proclaimed to be the Slavic god of hospitality and as such entered the Slavic pantheon.
Silenus was a companion and tutor to the wine god Dionysus. He was the old god of the dance of the wine-press, his name being derived from the words seiô, “to move to and fro,” and lênos, “the wine-trough.” He was also the god of drunkenness who was often seen riding on the back of a donkey due to him being inebriated.
In ancient Celtic religion, Sucellus or Sucellos was the god of agriculture, forests and alcoholic drinks of the Gauls. He is often depicted as a middle-aged bearded man, with a long-handled hammer or a beer barrel suspended from a pole.
The ancient Hindu god Soma, is the god of quite a lot – the moon, the afterworld, inspiration and the god of poets and a bull. He is also a bit of an advocate for drugs as not only does he enjoy drugs, he is a particular drug: the soma plant, known more commonly as ephedra vulgaris. For millennia, Hindu warriors have drunk a concoction derived from the soma plant. This drink was said to give them a sense of euphoria and ecstasy and helped warriors get over the fear or anxiety of an upcoming battle. As a drug, the god Soma represented a link between the world of the gods and this world. Soma is the name of a fictional drug in Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel, Brave New World.
For the ultimate ‘it’ girl, see Yasigi, the African goddess of beer. She is the dream deity, with a large bust, a ladle of beer and a love of dancing.