Athenian Calendar

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The best time to honor Hekate is the Deipnon and Noumenia.  With that said, every year I create an Athenian Calendar to calculate the Deipnon and Noumenia using the Southern Hemisphere New Moons, to ensure my devotions are on the right evenings from my location.  This is calculated by the start off point of the Summer Solstice in Greece of that particular year.

The Athenian Calendar also known as the Attic Calendar was a lunisolar calendar used during the classical period of Ancient Greece during the 4th and 5th Centuries BC.  It was exclusively used in Athens at the time and each month starts at the first sighting of the new moon, with the year beginning just after mid-summer.  It’s become a modern go to for practicing Hellenics and as such, what we use and have today is a reconstruction of what they used around 300-500 BC.  I have superimposed this Athenian Calendar over our modern Gregorian one, to loosely create a festival calendar of 12 months based on the cycle of the moon which starts at the beginning of the Athenian year – on the summer solstice in Athens. The names of the months reflect the gods and festivals honored at that time and have agricultural links to the planting or harvesting of food in the northern hemisphere.

Here is what the yearly Athenian Calendar basically looks like:

Summer (Θέρος)

1          Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομβαιών)           July/August

2          Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών) August/September (named after Apollo)

3          Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών)     September/October

Autumn (Φθινόπωρον)

4          Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών)                    October/November

5          Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών)           November/December (named after Zeus)

6          Poseideon (Ποσειδεών)                      December/January

Winter (Χεῖμα)

7          Gamelion (Γαμηλιών)             January/February

8          Anthesterion (Ἀνθεστηριών)  February/March (named after the festival of Anthesteria)

9          Elaphebolion (Ἑλαφηβολιών) March/April

Spring (Ἔαρ)

10        Mounichion (Μουνιχιών)                    April/May

11        Thargelion (Θαργηλιών)                     May/June

12        Skirophorion (Σκιροφοριών)               June/July

 

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Every month lasts for approximately 29-30 days in total.  Each month is broken up into 10 days of three which reflect the moon phases in the following order: Waxing, Full and Waning Moons.

Days 1 to 8 were all sacred to gods or spirit entities and the last day of the month, known as “hene kai nea” translated as “the old and the new”, is dedicate to Hekate as it’s her Deipnon along with the first day of the month, Noumenia which is also dedicated to Hekate.

Here are the details of those 8 sacred days in the Athenian Calendar month:

Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

Day 2: Agathos Daimon

Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

Day 29-30: Deipnon

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To get you all started with adapting the Athenian Calendar to the Gregorian one, here is the Athenian Calendar I created for 2016, calculated for Southern Hemisphere practitioners:

21st of June 2016, 1.33 = Summer Solstice in Greece (Winter Solstice in Australia)

Summer (Θέρος)

1          Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομβαιών) July/August

4th of July                   Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

5th of July                   Day 2: Agathos Daimon

6th of July                   Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

7th of July                   Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

8th of July                   Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

9th of July                   Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

10th of July                 Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

4th of August               Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

2          Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών) August/September (named after Apollo)

5th of August               Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

6th of August               Day 2: Agathos Daimon

7th of August               Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

8th of August               Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

9th of August               Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

10th of August             Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

11th of August             Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

31st of August             Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

3          Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών) September/October

1st of September         Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

2nd of September        Day 2: Agathos Daimon

3rd of September         Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

4th of September         Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

5th of September         Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

6th of September         Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

7th of September        Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

30th of September      Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

Autumn (Φθινόπωρον)

4          Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών) October/November

1st of October             Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

2nd of October                        Day 2: Agathos Daimon

3rd of October             Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

4th of October             Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

5th of October             Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

6th of October             Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

7th of October            Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

30th of October          Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

5          Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών) November/December (named after Zeus)

31st of October           Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

1st of November          Day 2: Agathos Daimon

2nd of November        Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

3rd of November         Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

4th of November         Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

5th of November         Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

6th of November         Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

28th of November       Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

6          Poseideon (Ποσειδεών) December/January

29th of November       Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon).

30th of November       Day 2: Agathos Daimon

1st of December          Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

2nd of December         Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

3rd of December         Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

4th of December          Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

5th of December          Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

29th of December        Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

(C) T. Georgitsis 2016

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