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Antike Griechische Feste

Ancient Greek Festivals

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Festivals
Tamyneia

a festival in Tamynai Euboea in honor of Apollo

Thalysia

Demeter

City : Cos

Date : Autumn

Described by Theocritus in his seventh idyll. Held after harvest on the island of Cos. Basically the festival is that of Thanksgiving.

Thargelia (Θαργήλεια)

Dedication:

Apollo

City : Athens

Held on the sixth and seventh days of Thargelion

A vegetation festival where a man played the role of a god. This person was used as a scapegoat, where the people drive him out of the city. Sometimes, this victim was actually sacrificed, particularly during the time of famine; the scapegoat was either thrown into the sea or burned alive on a funeral pyre. On the second day of the festival there was a feast and procession as a mark of thanksgiving.

Theophania (θεοφάνια).

A Delphic festival celebrated in February on the alleged birthday of Apollo

Theogameia

Zeus and Hera diving wedding <” or “ieros” gamos

Theseia (Θήσεια)

Dedication: Theseus

Date : 8th Pyanopsion

Processions, Sacrifices and Athletic Contests. The festival in honour of Theseus dates from Cimon, who, in obedience to an oracle from Delphi , brought the bones of Theseus from Scyros and buried them in the spot upon which the Theseum was built. From this act date the annual epitaphia, or funeral rites in honour of national heroes and of all who died in battle for Athens, including in war-time a funeral oration over the dead ...The whole Theseus-festival comprised on different days of the month Pyanepsion several distinct ceremonies, which have been elsewhere particularly described, partly representing the story of Theseus, partly the funeral rites which had become connected with his festival. The word thêseia may be used generally of the whole (Aristoph. Plut. 621), but it is usual to find the separate ceremonies mentioned under their own name, and where we find thêseia alone it. commonly refers to the offering and banquet on 8th Pyanepsion and the games of the following day: the phrase thêseia kai epitaphia, which is often found in inscriptions, means that day of the Theseus.festival on which the epitaphia took place. William Smith A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities

Thesmophoria (Θεσμοφόρια)

Dedication: Demeter

City : Various parts of Greece

Date : 11 - 13 Pyanopsion (October)

A three-day festival in various part of Greece. Women participating in the autumn sowing (Sporetos) festival had to fast and observe their chastity for several days. First day: Anodos, the ascent. Married women, with all the supplies they would need for two nights and three days, they ascended a hill - Thesmophorion (the hillside sanctuary of Demeter Thesmophoros). Then they would build leafy shelters and furnish them with couches made with plants and then slept in these two-person leafy huts.Second day: The Nesteia (Fast) when women fasted. They may also have whipped each other with bark scourges. Third day: The Kalligeneia (Fair Offspring). Commemorating Demeter's torchlight search for her daughter Persephone, there was a night-time torch light ceremony. A feast was held and offerings to the goddess Demeter were made - gifts of seed corn, cakes, fruit, and pigs. It was hoped that Demeter's gratitude would grant them a good harvest.

According to Herodotus the Thesmophoria were introducted by the daugther of Danaus in Greece:

On this lake it is that the Egyptians represent by night his sufferings whose name I refrain from mentioning, and this representation they call their Mysteries. I know well the whole course of the proceedings in these ceremonies, but they shall not pass my lips. So too, with regard to the mysteries of Ceres, which the Greeks term “the Thesmophoria,” I know them, but I shall not mention them, except so far as may be done without impiety. The daughters of Danaus brought these rites from Egypt, and taught them to the Pelasgic women of the Peloponnese. Afterwards, when the inhabitants of the peninsula were driven from their homes by the Dorians, the rites perished. Only in Arcadia, where the natives remained and were not compelled to migrate, their observance continued.
So too, with regard to the mysteries of Ceres, which the Greeks term “the Thesmophoria,” I know them, but I shall not mention them, except so far as may be done without impiety. The daughters of Danaus brought these rites from Egypt, and taught them to the Pelasgic women of the Peloponnese. Afterwards, when the inhabitants of the peninsula were driven from their homes by the Dorians, the rites perished. Only in Arcadia, where the natives remained and were not compelled to migrate, their observance continued. (Herodotus, Book 2, 171)

According to Plutarch they were introduced by Orpheus the Odrysia.

The Thesmophoria are probably a form of rites common in Western Asia and Europe in which the main feature is a lamentation for the decay of vegetation and a rejoicing at its revival (Brittanica)

Heracleides of Syracuse in his work On Institutions says that in Syracuse, on the Day of Consummation at the Thesmophoria, cakes of sesame and honey were molded in the shape of the female pudenda, and called throughout the whole of Sicily mylloi and carried about in honor of the goddesses. (Athenaeus, The Deipnosophists XIV, 646f)

Aristophanes Thesmophoriazousae

The Thesmophoria (or see The Thesmophoria )

The Dionysiac Mysteries and the Thesmophoria

Thyia

Dionysus, Festival in Elis

Between the market-place and the Menius is an old theater and a shrine of Dionysus. The image is the work of Praxiteles. Of the gods the Eleans worship Dionysus with the greatest reverence, and they assert that the god attends their festival, the Thyia. The place where they hold the festival they name the Thyia is about eight stades from the city. Three pots are brought into the building by the priests and set down empty in the presence of the citizens and of any strangers who may chance to be in the country. The doors of the building are sealed by the priests themselves and by any others who may be so inclined.
On the morrow they are allowed to examine the seals, and on going into the building they find the pots filled with wine. I did not myself arrive at the time of the festival, but the most respected Elean citizens, and with them strangers also, swore that what I have said is the truth.
Pausanias 6.26.1

Tithenidia,

a festival of Sparta celebrated for the preservation of infants, in which nurses conveyed male infants entrusted to their charge to the temple of Artemis where they sacrificied young pigs. During the time of the solemnity they generally danced and exposed themselves in ridiculous postures; there were also some entertainments given near the temple where tents were erected. Each had a separate portion allotted, together with a small loaf, a piece of new cheese, part of the entrails of the victims and figs, beans and green vetches, instead of sweetmeats.

Athen. iv. p. 139; Sympos. iii. 9

Triclaria

a yearly festival celebrated to appease the anger of Artemis Triclaria, whose temple had been defiled by the adulterous commerce of Melanippus and Comaetho. It was usual to sacrifice a boy and a girl, but this barbarous custom was abolished . The three cities were Aroe, Messatis, and Anthea (all now Patras), whose united labors had erected the temple of the goddess.

Source

Pausanias, Triclaria 7.19

Trieterika (Trieterica)

A festival in honour of Dionysus (place Mount Cithaeron) (the name means three years) (probably two times Autumn and Winter), The festival included songs called Triastmoi (Source Virgil Aen. (...., ubi audito stimulant trieterica Baccho orgia, nocturnusque vocat clamore Cithaeron. )

Ancient Greek Festivals

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