The following information is from the ancient Hellenic Attican calendar
According to the Attican calendar the day starts with the sunset
and the year starts the first day after the winter solstice
but after the 6th century BC (aprox.) starts the first day of the new moon after the
|The first day of the month is called Noumenia (new month) and every month is divided in three periods of ten
days each - if the third period has 10 days the month is called Complete otherwise (9 days)
The first 10day period is called Istamenou (beginning month), the second Mesountos (mid month) and the third Legontos (waning month) with backward numbering, the twentieth day of the month is called Tenth Protera (preceding).
Every day and every month is dedicated to one or more Gods/Goddesses, the Noumenia is dedicated to Hecate, the 3rd and 13th to Athena, the 4th to Dionysos / Aphrodite, the 6th to Artemis, the 7th to Apollon, the 23rd to Hermes, and
the last three days to Chthonian (underground) Gods.
|Hekatombaion (22 Jun - 21 Jul, 30 Days)|
|Eiseteria||Festival in honor of Zeus Boulaios and Athena Boulaia.|
|4||Aphrodisia||Is an PanHellenic festival to honor Aphrodite Pandemos /
with feast, dancing and athletic games.
|7||Hekatombaia||Celebration of Hekatombaia with great rites to honor Apollon Hekatombaios and Zeus Hekatombaios.|
|12||Kronia||To honor Kronos and Rhea for the end of harvest (in the archaic period this month was called "Kronion").|
|15||Synoikia||Synoikesia (match) is a festival to honor the "Poliouhos" (city guardian) Athena Pallas, in memory of the archaic villages merging by Theseus to an organized city (Athens).|
|21||Artemisia||Festival in honor of Artemis|
|27||Ponnykhis||All night festival with torch race, dances by virgins and youth g. games.|
celebration of Athena's birthday, guardian Goddess of Athens, and is the greatest festival
of the Athenians.
Panathenaia is divided to Lesser and Greater:
Lesser Panathenaia is held annually and last only one day, the Hieropoioi carry around the holy Peplos (veil) and continue the festival with dance contest, secrifices to Goddesses Athena Polias,Hygieia and Nike.
Greater Panathenaia is held every four years with magnificent procession, athletic games and last for 12 days (aprox.).
The festival started at sunrise with a great procession from Kerameikos toward Acropolis to offer the Peplos which a group of women (the group is formed of the Goddess's Priestess, the Arrephoroi (the two girls who are carrying the Goddess's Peplos and other holy items) and many assistants who are called Εrgastinai) were weaving the last nine months. The color of Peplos is yellow, made from wool with panels displaying scenes from the Gigantomachy (Athena and Zeus fighting against the Giants).
The Peplos is carried on the mast of a chariot with the shapeof a ship, and delivered to the Priestess of Athena in fornt of her wooden statue inside Parthenon to continue with the animal sacrificing and offerings to Athena Polias, Athena Hygieia, Nike and Pandrosos, and distribute their meat to all celebrants. The Panathenaian games consist of gymnastic games (running, wrestling, pangration, boxing, pentathlon), horse race, chariot race, torch procession, worthy men contest (euandria), poetry and music contest.
The prizes are crown from olive, Panathenaian "amphora" conataining olive oil from the Goddess's sacred grove and cows.
The festival has also a dance called "Pyrrichi", a very lively dance by nude men having only helmet and shield, in memory of Athena's dance after the victory against the Giants (Gigantomachy the battle of the Giants and the Olympians).
Metageitnion (22 Jul - 19 Aug, 29 Days)
|7||Metageitnia||Festival in honor of Apollon assisting in good relations with neighbors.|
|Festival of illegitimate children (children from unmarried parents).|
Boedromion (20 Aug - 18 Sep, 30 Days)
|5||Genesia or Nekysia||Mournful festival in honor of the dead and Goddess
Families honor their own dead on their anniversaries with invocation of the AgathoDaimon (Good Demon, the gurdian God of the deceased), libation and offerings (flowers, boiled rice in milk, honey, butter) and gift exchanging between the living.
|6||Artemis Agrotera||Festival in honor of Artemis Agrotera (Huntress)|
|7||Boedromia||Festival in honor of the protector of the warriors, Apollon Boedromos (run to help someone).|
|15||Great Eleusinian Mysteries||Great nine day festival contacted every five years.
During the festival all candidates take place to the initiation of the greatest secrets of life. Candidate for initiation could be everyone except of criminals, not believers and sorcerers. The first day all the candidates for initiation are gathered. During the second day the candidates are purified in the sea and the third day are fasting, drinking only Kykeon. The fourth day there are sacrifices and mystical dances. The fifth day the candidates entered inside Demetra's temple. During the sixth day the staue of Iakhos and His holy items are carried around. From the seventh day till the end the initiation take place inside the Adyton. ( More .. )
Pyanepsion (19 Sep - 17 Oct, 29 Days)
|5||Proerosiea||Festival to honor Demetra and Daughter before the ploughing and sowing.|
|7||Pyanepsia||Festival in honor of Apollo, Artemis and Horai, with offerings of pulses and fruits, during the procession the Eiresione (olive or bay branch soaked with wine, oil, honey and decorated with fruit and wool) carried by Amphithales child (with two living parents) and at the end the Priest / Priestess hang the Eiresione above the door of the temple and the people above their door and not replaced until next year with a new one.|
|8||Oskhophoria||Cheerful festival in honor of Dionysos and Ariadne with procession of the Oskhophoroi (vine branch bearers, young men carry vine branches and are dressed as women, symbol of divine unity of the feminine and mascular sides) and Deipnophoroi (dinner carriers, women carrying food) following with rites near the sea where the Oskhophoroi throw the Oskhous (vine branches) into the water and ending with athletic games.|
|8||Theseia||This is a festival to honor Theseus with feast (bread and meat distributed to the poor), parade of under age children (symbol of Theseus as an image to be) and military games.|
|9||Stenia||Feminine festival in which only married women can take part. Basic
opening celebration for Thesmophoria. During the festival, which take place
at Eleusis and Alimountas, the women make jokes to each other and in
Alimountas they whip each other (symbolical) with lygaria branches following by mystical dances.
|10 - 13||Thesmophoria||Festival in honor of
Demetra. Only women could take place and they had to abstain from sex for nine days. The
first day is dedicated to the rites of Stenia at Eleusis and the second day they move to
the shrine of Demetra at Alimountas. There are purification baths in the sea, pig
sacrifices, fruit offerings, rites, phallophories and baked bread exchanging.
From the holy gaps the offerings "Thesmoi" are recovered (from Skirophoria) from the priestess. The "Thesmoi" are rubed to powder and mixed with wheat for sowing. The last three days the celebrations are moved to Athens.
There is procession with participants only initiated women (bare foot and uncombed hair).
|?||Apatouria||Three day celebration for the young boys and girls or newborns who will be registered in the city list of free citizens. The first day (Dorpia, celebration eve) is the reunion and feast for the members of the Phatria (clan), also the presentation of the boy/girl by the parent or the commissioner who vouch for him / her. During the second day (Anarrhyssis, sacrificing) sacrifices are made to the altar of Zeus Phatrios and Athena Phatria (principal Gods of Phatria), and Dionysos Melanaigis. The third day (Koureotis, youths) the children who are approved by the citizens were registered and the parent or the commissioner offer their cut hair to the Gods while their mothers made a sacrifice in a crossroad under the moonlight to honor the Kourotrophos, Chthonic Gods of gestation.|
|29||Khalkeia||Festival in honor of Hephaestos and Athena Εrgani. Αlso on this day the Ergastinai (workers) start the weaving the Peplos of Athena which will be used at Panathenaia procession.|
Maimakterion (18 Oct - 16 Nov, 30 Days)
|15||Pompaia||Festival in honor of Zeus Meilikhios, a procession take place throughout the city carrying the Dios Kodion (the skin of a black sheep which has been sacrificed to Zeus Meilikhios and has purgative attributes and absorbs miasma) and the Kerykeion (wand with enteined snakes, Hermes's wand).|
|20||Maimakteria||Expiatory festival in honor of Zeus Maimaktos (blustering) to be kind during the winter. The festival has also men dancing while they are disguised as Backhes, Mymphs and Horai with heavy clothing and veils celebrating the start of winter.|
Poseidon (17 Nov - 15 Dec, 29 Days)
|5||Plerosia||Festival in honor of Zeus|
|8||Poseidea||Festival in honor of Poseison Phytalmios (moisture and vegetation)|
|15||Small Dionysia||Small or Country Dionysia is a two day festival in honor of
There is a procession of Phallophoroi (carriers of wooden phallus), Kaniforoi (basket bearers) and maskueraders and then feast with music and dance.
|26||Haloa||Festival to honor Demetra Haloa, Dionysos, Poseidon Phytalmios and Persephony. The festival starts in Athens and ends in Eleusis with a procession bringing fruit offerings. During the feast all kind of fruits are cosmumed except of eggs and pomegranate, also phallus and pudenda shaped bread and the first wine of the year is offered. There are night Phallophories of nude women teasing each other and exchanging dirty words.|
|Poseidon B' (16 Dec - 26 Dec, 11 Days)|
|6||Small Asclepieia||Festival in honor of Asclepios, Apollon and Hygieia|
|10||Heracleia||Celebration to honor Heracles Triesperos (three continues nights)|
|Gamelion (27 Dec - 25 Jan, 30 Days)|
|27||Gamelia||Festival to honor Zeus Teleios (perfect, head of the family) and Hera Teleia also sacrifices offered to Poseidon and Demetra Kourotrophos.|
|Anthesterion (26 Jan - 23 Feb, 29 Days)|
|5||Soteria||Festival in honor of Zeus Soteros (savior).|
|11||Anthesteria||Three day festival to honor Dionysos and Cthonic Hermes. The first day is called "Pithoigia" (jar opening) or "AgathoDeamon" (good spirit) and the jars are opened to taste the new wines and put flower crowns to the children who were born last year. This symbolize the return of a soul to life within this child. The second day is called "Khoes" (from cup) and there is wine drinking, games, baked bread exhanging and representation of the Holly Marriage between Arkhon King's wife and Dionysos. This day also in the temple of Dionysos started the mysteries in which only women can take place. The participants first have to purify with air, water and fire and wear skin from panther or deer. The rites started with a pig sacrifice and performed at night. The last day is called "Khytroi" (kettles) because kettles with flowers and cooked vegetables are offered to the deads. Also all the the shrines are sealed with red ropes and the deads are recalled by Hermes to return.|
|23||Diasia||Festival in honor of Zeus Meilikhios (kindly) which take place in the countryside to welcome spring with joyful celebrations and honor also the chthonic aspect of Zeus (His holy fruit is fig). There are night rites with cow shaped bread offerings, sacrifices, feast, dances and Hymn chanting.|
|29||Delia||Celebrations contacted at Delio shrine in Marathon from where the Athenian Theoria (group of representatives) start their journey to the island of Delos.|
Elaphebolion (24 Feb - 25 Mar, 30 Days)
|6||Elaphebolia||Archaic festival in honor of Artemis Elaphebolos (deer shooting) with offerings of stag shaped bread, made from dough, honey and sesame seeds.|
|8||Great or City Dionysia||Six day festival to honor Dionysos. The celebration start with bull and pig sacrifices, with God Phallus crowning and night carrying of Dionysos statue. Also there is procession, theatre and Dithyrambic dances.|
|15||Galaxia||Festival in honor of Rhea, libation and feast take place with Galaxia, a porridge from barley flour boiled in milk. The youths offer golden pots and exchange between them candies made from honey and milk.|
|30||Pandia||Festival in honor of Zeus Pandios and Pandias (daughter of Zeus and Selene), established by Pandion, king of Athens and leader of Pandionidos clan.|
|Mounykhion (26 Mar - 23 Apr, 29 Days)|
|4||Eroteia||Festival in honor of Eros|
|6||Delphinia or Iketiria||Festival to honor Apollon Delphinio with procession in which virgin girls offered Iketiria (olive branch bind with wool) and Popana (baked cakes) at His shrine. This festival take place in memory of Theseus's return from Crete and to supplicate Apollon to have safe sea journeys (winter is over and sea journeys start this time of the year).|
|13||Demetreia||Archaic festival in honor of Demetra, the celebrants are whipping each other symbolically with branches of a tree called Morotos.|
|16||Mounykhia||Festival in honor of Artemis Mounykhia and the hero Mounykhos. There is a procession in which people carry Amphiphontes (shining both ways), round cakes placed between of two torches, which symbolize the moonrise and the moonset. The celebration continue with goat sacrifice, the Arkteia (dances of young nude girls, wearing leaf crowns and carry torches) and youth games.|
|17||Brabroneia||Festival in honor of Artemis, in the rites participate the Arktoi, 10 young girls (5 - 10 years old) wearing yellow shirts. A white goat is sacrificed then the celebration continue with a procession in which the holy items of Artemis are carried around inside a basket called Heleni and the celebrations end with dance of the young priestesses.|
|Thargelion (24 Apr - 23 May, 30 Days)|
|6||Thargelia||Festival to honor the birthday of Artemis (6th) and Apollo (7th).
The celebrations starts with the baking of Thargelos, the fist bread of the year which will be offered to the Gods the next day to thank Them for the soil fertility, following the city purification with Pharmakoi, a procession which includes two death convicted (one man and one woman, who have been fed for several months with the best food, dressed with holy clothes and tied with fig branches while the man is wearing a neclace of black and the woman white of figs) to absorb the miasma and at the end first was used to kill them but later just send them away from the city.
The 7th of the month the festival start with sheep and goat sacrifices, dance contest in which the winner receive a copper tripod which then dedicates to the Pythion shrine of Apollon. Also is used for the children to put outside of their doors the Eiresioni singing "Eiresioni brings every good, figs and foammy breads which feed us and sweet honey and smooth olive oil and overflowing cups to get drunk and fall asleep". There is a procession and libation in honor of Helios, Horai and Selene. This day the registration take place of the adopted children in a Phatria.
|19||Bendideia||Festival in honor of a Thracian moon Goddess Bendidi, Whom the Hellenic religion identify Her with some aspects of Artemis Bandeia, Perchefone and Hecate. The celebration has sacrifices and torch procession.|
|22||Kallynteria||Festival of cleaning and purification of the temple of Athena.|
|25||Plynteria||Purification festival of Athena's statue which starts with sacrifices to Zeus Moirageti, Ge and Moires then with a small procession from Parthenon to Faliro (a place near the sea) the statue of Athena Polias, without the Peplo and Her armor, is carried to be washed and purified by the Praxiergides Priestesses. Later at night the staute of Athena Polias is carried back to Her temple in a torchlight procession and escorted by the Palathenophoroi (women carrying baskets with dry figs).|
|Skirophorion (24 May - 21 Jun, 29 Days)|
|12||Skirophoria or Skira||Festival in honor of Athena (actually the whole month is dedicated
to Her), Demeter, Persephone and Poseidon Phytalmios, celebrated mainly by women. There is
a procession in which the Goddesses's Skiadeio (a large fabric white sun-shield) is
carried around which protects the fields and farms from the burning heat, also the Kodion
(skin of a black sheep which has been sacrificed to Zeus Meilikhios) is carried around to
protect the people and the city from burning heat.
In front of the procession are the Priestess of Athena Polias and the Priests of Poseidon and Helios. Arriving at Skiron sacrifices take place to protect agricuclture from burning heat and dryness and represantation of the Hieros Gamos (holy marriage). In honor of Demetra and Daughter small pigs are sacrificed and throw offerings (Thesmoi - cakes shaped like phalluses and snakes together with pine branches) into holly gaps which after three months are recovered from the Priestesses at Thesmophoria.
|22||Arrephoria||Festival in honor of Athena. Every year four young girls (7 - 11 years old) who are called Arrephoroi (two of them are carrying the Peplos and the other two the holy items) elected to stay inside of Acropolis from the end of Pyanepsion. They wear white robes and gold jewlery, they play in a specific area inside Acropolis which is called Spheristran of Arrephoron and eat Anastatos or Nastos (like a cheese pie). The day of celebration the Arrephoroi are holding baskets on their heads with Goddesses's holy items given by the Priestess which they put in a cave (near Aphrodite's shrine) outside of Athens and new holy items are given to them by the Priestess, who is now pretending to be Athena, and later at night the Arrephoroi are carrying back the new holy items to a shrine in Acropolis. The festival ends with the release of Arrephoroi of their oath and the election of new from Arkhon Basileu (king priest).|
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