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The Athenian Festival Calendar. The Calendar Generally The Festival Calendar The Other Calendar The Months of the Festival Year Every Month What was a Festival? The Principal Festivals The Festivals of Demeter. The Calendar Generally. every polis had its own

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The Athenian Festival Calendar

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The athenian festival calendar l.jpg

The Athenian Festival Calendar

The Calendar Generally

The Festival Calendar

The Other Calendar

The Months of the Festival Year

Every Month

What was a Festival?

The Principal Festivals

The Festivals of Demeter


The calendar generally l.jpg

The Calendar Generally

  • every polis had its own

  • months named differently to accord with different deities honored

  • different new year days in different poleis

  • all were lunar

  • everything here refers to Athens


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The Festival Calendar

  • lunar = based on cycles of moon

  • 12 months of 29 or 30 days with intercalation

  • huh? intercalation = adding a month

  • new year = day of new moon following summer solstice = 6/22/2001


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The Other Calendar

  • The Civic Calendar

  • ten months, each = 1/10 of the year (35-39 days)

  • based on ten tribes of Athens

  • each tribe in charge of running major organs of government for one month


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Hekatombaion

Metageitnion

Boedromion

Pyanespsion

Maimakterion

Posideion

Gamelion

Anthesterion

Elaphebolion

Mounichion

Thargelion

Skirophorion

The Months of the Festival Year


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Every Month

  • first day - Noumenia = New Moon Day

  • 3rd day - dedicated to Athena

  • 6th day - dedicated to Artemis

  • 7th day - dedicated to Apollo

  • 8th day - dedicated to Poseidon


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What was a Festival?

  • Sacrifices to the god(s) and feasting

  • Processions

  • Athletic Competitions (races, etc.)

  • Artistic Competitions (song and dance; dramatic performances)

  • some or all of the above

  • plus events specific to the festival


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The Principal Festivals 1

  • Panathenaia

    • Hekatombaion 23-30

    • presentation of new robe to Athena

  • Eleusinian Mysteries

    • Boedromion 15-21

    • rites for Demeter

  • Thesmophoria

    • Pyanepsion 11-13

    • Demeter and Persephone


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The Principal Festivals 2

  • Apatouria

    • Pyanepsion 19-21 (?)

    • initiation of boys into fathers’ groups

  • Anthesteria

    • Anthesterion 11-13

    • wine & flowers; rites for Dionysus

  • Greater Dionysia

    • Elaphebolion 10-16

    • dramatic performances for Dionysus


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The Festivals of Demeter

  • Eleusinian Mysteries - Boedromion

  • Stenia - Pyanepsion

  • Thesmophoria - Pyanepsion

  • Haloa - Posideon

  • Skirophoria - Skirophorion


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Hekatombaion

  • July August

  • watering young trees 3

  • harvest grains & legumes 2

  • fallow ploughing 1

  • thresh & process grain for storage 1

  • Panathenaia


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Metageitnion

  • August September

  • fig harvest 1

  • watering

  • no major festivals


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Boedromion

  • September October

  • fig harvest 2

  • vintage

  • manure & clear fields 1

  • watering

  • Eleusinian Mysteries


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Pyanepsion

  • October November

  • manure &clear fields 2

  • trench & prune vines 1

  • trench & prune olive trees1

  • olive picking & pressing 1

  • Apatouria

  • Thesmophoria & Stenia

  • Chalkeia


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Maimakterion

  • November December

  • trench & prune vines 2

  • trench & prune olive trees 2

  • olive picking & pressing 2

  • plough and sow grain

  • lambing & kidding 1

  • no major festivals


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Poseideion

  • December January

  • lambing & kidding 2

  • Haloa

  • Rural Dionysia

  • this is extra month added for intercalation when necessary


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Gamelion

  • January February

  • lambing & kidding 3

  • milking & milk processing 1

  • fallow ploughing 1

  • Lenaion

  • Lesser Mysteries (& start of Anthesterion)


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Anthesterion

  • February March

  • lambing & kidding 4

  • fallow ploughing 2

  • milking & milk processing 2

  • vine & tree digging & pruning 1

  • Anthesteria


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Elaphebolion

  • March April

  • vine & tree digging & pruning 2

  • grafting 1

  • milking & milk processing 3

  • Greater Dionysia


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Mounichion

  • April May

  • grafting 2

  • milking & milk processing 4

  • earthing up trees 1

  • watering young trees 1

  • Delphinia


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Thargelion

  • May June

  • milking & milk processing 5

  • earthing up trees 2

  • watering young trees 2

  • harvest grains & legumes 1

  • Thargelia

  • Kallynteria & Plynteria


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Skirophorion

  • June July

  • watering young trees 3

  • harvest grains & legumes 2

  • fallow ploughing 1

  • thresh & process grain for storage 1

  • milking milk processing 5

  • Arrephoria

  • Skirophoria


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