|ACK! I'm late!
||[Oct. 7th, 2005|07:07 pm]
All Sojourner's Tranquil Respite
So. Another month has begun. Here are the details: The month is Puanepsion, and it runs from October the 4th through November the 1st. Lots to do this month. Here's the rundown:|
Proerosia Saturday, October 8th (the 5th day of Puanepsion):
This was an agricultural festival held at Eleusis in honor of Demeter. The name translates, basically, as "preliminary to ploughing," which gives you an idea of the point of this one. Offerings of first fruits (mostly grain) are given to Demeter to ask for her blessing at the beginning of the sowing season. Apollons oracle told the Athenians to begin the Proerosia in order to end a horrible famine, and this story is recounted at the festival.
Puanepsia Monday, October 10th (the 7th day of Puanepsion):
This was a festival dedicated to Phoebus Apollon. The God was offered a sacrifice of a he-goat (sorry goatoverlord42), and a lamb, and a meal was held for him. During the procession, each boy carried an eiresione, the traditional sign of a supplicant. However on this day, the eirisione, normally a bough of olive wreathed with wool, was possibly made of laurel, and was decorated with pastries shaped like wineskins, harps, and cups, along with real fruit. The boys carried the boughs from house to house, begging for food, and singing. If the occupant gave them something to eat, they would give him an eirisione to bless his house. The ritual food that gave its name to this festival (and this month) consists of a mixture of boiled legumes. According to myth, Theseus and his crew returned to Athens on this day, and offered Apollon this dish, made from the remains of their provisions. The combination of all the plants also works well as a prayer for a bountiful harvest.
Oskhophoria Monday, October 10th (the 7th day of Puanepsion):
Note the date. Same as the preceeding holiday. This isn't a mistake on my part. It just works out that way. This was a celebration of the wine harvest (well, the harvest of the grapes used to make the wine), in honour of Dionysos, when men carried vine branches with the grapes still clinging to them through the town in a procession. Hymns about the harvest and winemaking were sung. A ritual meal was held, where legends were told (mainly about Theseus) and acted out.
Thesia Tuesday, October 11th (the 8th day of Puanepsion):
A festival honouring Theseus (seeing a pattern this month?), the son of Poseidon. There was a procession, sacrifices, athletic contests, and a feast including a porridge of wheat and milk (kind of like oatmeal).
Stenia Wednesday, October 12th (the 9th day of Puanepsion):
This was a nocturnal women's festival for Demeter and Persephone in preparation for the Thesmophoria (see below). The women insulted each other light-heartedly to commemorate the way Iambe made the grieving Demeter laugh. Votive offerings were thrown into pits in the sanctuary of Demeter, including bread in the shape of phalluses and snakes, as well as sacrificed pigs.
Thesmophoria Friday, October 14th, through Sunday, October 16th (the 11th, 12th, and 13th days of Puanepsion:
An all-female agricultural festival in honour of Demeter and Persephone, held in Demeter's hillside sanctuary. On the first day, the women climbed the hill and made camp, sleeping on the ground in huts. On the second day, the women sat on the ground and fasted from all solid food (except pomegranate seeds) in sympathy with Demeter's mourning. They taunted each other in iambic verse, in imitation of Iambe and Demeter. On the third day, there was a torch-lit ceremony, because Demeter sought Persephone by torch light. This may have been when the offerings were eremoved from the earth by purified priestesses, and placed on the altars of the goddess. Later, this compost was mixed with the grain to be sown the following month. The rest of the day was spent in joyous celebration.
Khalkeia Tuesday, November 1st (the 29th day of Puanepsion):
A festival of smiths, associated with Hephaistos and Athene. It was a day of rest from work, and a procession of workers moved through the town carrying baskets of corn. Later, a feast was held.