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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

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
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
the festival calendar
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
the other calendar
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
the months of the festival year
Hekatombaion

Metageitnion

Boedromion

Pyanespsion

Maimakterion

Posideion

Gamelion

Anthesterion

Elaphebolion

Mounichion

Thargelion

Skirophorion

The Months of the Festival Year
every month
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
what was a festival
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
the principal festivals 1
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
the principal festivals 2
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
the festivals of demeter
The Festivals of Demeter
  • Eleusinian Mysteries - Boedromion
  • Stenia - Pyanepsion
  • Thesmophoria - Pyanepsion
  • Haloa - Posideon
  • Skirophoria - Skirophorion
hekatombaion
Hekatombaion
  • July August
  • watering young trees 3
  • harvest grains & legumes 2
  • fallow ploughing 1
  • thresh & process grain for storage 1
  • Panathenaia
metageitnion
Metageitnion
  • August September
  • fig harvest 1
  • watering
  • no major festivals
boedromion
Boedromion
  • September October
  • fig harvest 2
  • vintage
  • manure & clear fields 1
  • watering
  • Eleusinian Mysteries
pyanepsion
Pyanepsion
  • October November
  • manure &clear fields 2
  • trench & prune vines 1
  • trench & prune olive trees1
  • olive picking & pressing 1
  • Apatouria
  • Thesmophoria & Stenia
  • Chalkeia
maimakterion
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
poseideion
Poseideion
  • December January
  • lambing & kidding 2
  • Haloa
  • Rural Dionysia
  • this is extra month added for intercalation when necessary
gamelion
Gamelion
  • January February
  • lambing & kidding 3
  • milking & milk processing 1
  • fallow ploughing 1
  • Lenaion
  • Lesser Mysteries (& start of Anthesterion)
anthesterion
Anthesterion
  • February March
  • lambing & kidding 4
  • fallow ploughing 2
  • milking & milk processing 2
  • vine & tree digging & pruning 1
  • Anthesteria
elaphebolion
Elaphebolion
  • March April
  • vine & tree digging & pruning 2
  • grafting 1
  • milking & milk processing 3
  • Greater Dionysia
mounichion
Mounichion
  • April May
  • grafting 2
  • milking & milk processing 4
  • earthing up trees 1
  • watering young trees 1
  • Delphinia
thargelion
Thargelion
  • May June
  • milking & milk processing 5
  • earthing up trees 2
  • watering young trees 2
  • harvest grains & legumes 1
  • Thargelia
  • Kallynteria & Plynteria
skirophorion
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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