The Thracian who defied the gods

During a thunderstorm, the Thracians used to go out in the open and fire arrows at the sky. With this behaviour, they believed they showed the god Zeus (among the Thracians also called Sbeldturdos or Gebeleizis) that they were not afraid of him and that they were the sole masters of their own lives and destinies. 

This ritual is connected to the myth of the dragonslayer, and shows how the thunder god, armed with his lightning bolts, defeats the forces of chaos that have taken the form of a fearsome wyvern or dragon. Since the monster is often identified with storm clouds, shooting at the sky is an expression of opposition between eternal enemies. During this ritual, the role of god is accepted by the Thracian kings or heroes who shoot towards the sky.