Athenian Calendar 2020/21 (Southern Hemisphere)

Image by Konstantin Arzumanidis

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 for 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 honoured 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

 

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

To get you all started with adapting the Athenian Calendar to the Gregorian one, here is the Athenian Calendar I created for 2021, calculated for Southern Hemisphere practitioners:

21 June 2020 (12.43am), = Summer Solstice in Greece (Winter Solstice in Australia 21st June 7.43am AEST)

 

Summer (Θέρος)

1 Hekatombaion (Ἑκατομβαιών)

21 July – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 3.32am Athenian New Year 

22 July – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

23 July – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

24 July – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

26 July – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

27 July – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

28 July – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

17-18 August – Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

2 Metageitnion (Μεταγειτνιών) (named after Apollo)

19 August – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 12.41pm

20 August – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

21 August – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

22 August – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

24 August – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

25 August – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

26 August – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

15-16 September – Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

3 Boedromion (Βοηδρομιών)

17 September – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 9.00pm

18 September – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

19 September – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

20 September – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

22 September – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

23 September – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

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

15-16 October – Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

Autumn (Φθινόπωρον)

4 Pyanepsion (Πυανεψιών)

17 October – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 6.31am

18 October – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

19 October – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

20 October – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

22 October – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

23 October – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

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

13-14 November – Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

5 Maimakterion (Μαιμακτηριών) (named after Zeus)

15 November – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 4.07pm

16 November – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

17 November – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

18 November – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

20 November – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

21 November – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

22 November – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

13-14 December – Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

6 Poseideon (Ποσειδεών)

15 December – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 3.06am

28 November – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

29 November – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

30 November – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

2 December – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

3 December – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

4 December – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

12-13 January – Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

Winter (Χεῖμα)

7 Gamelion (Γαμηλιών)

13 January – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 4.00pm

14 January – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

15 January – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

16 January – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Eros

18 January – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

19 January – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

20 January – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

10-11 February – Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

8 Anthesterion (Ἀνθεστηριών) (named after the festival of Anthesteria)

12 February – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 6.05am

13 February – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

14 February – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

15 February – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Erosc

17 February- Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

18 February – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

19 February – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

11-12 March  – Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

9 Elaphebolion (Ἑλαφηβολιών)

13 March – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 9.21pm

14 March – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

15 March – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

16 March – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Erosc

18 March – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

19 March – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

20 March – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

10-11 April – Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

Spring (Ἔαρ)

10 Mounichion (Μουνιχιών)

12 April – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 12.30pm

13 April – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

14 April – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

15 April – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Erosc

17 April – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

18 April – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

19 April – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

10-11 May – Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

11 Thargelion (Θαργηλιών) 

12 May – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 4.59am

13 May – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

14 May – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

15 May – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Erosc

17 May – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

18 May – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

19 May – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

8-9 June – Day 29-30: Deipnon

 

12 Skirophorion (Σκιροφοριών)   

10 June – Day 1: Noumenia (New Moon) 8.52pm

11 June – Day 2: Agathos Daimon

12 June – Day 3: Athena’s Birthday

13 June – Day 4: Heracles, Hermes, Aphrodite and Erosc

15 June – Day 6: Artemis’ Birthday

16 June – Day 7: Apollo’s Birthday

17 June – Day 8: Poseidon and Theseus (Mikalson 1975: 24)

8-9 July – Day 29-30: Deipnon

(C) T. Georgitsis 2021

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