Panathenaia Festival

From the 17th to 30th of July, the Hellenic Panathenaia festival is observed.

The Panathenaia is a festival which is dedicated to the city of Athens.

Historically celebrations included an all night service, a race involving torches (where only Athenians could participate) and a meal for all citizens paid for by the city containing meats.  This was the early beginnings of the Olympic games with the event being open to all Greeks every forth year around 566 BCE.

This is an auspicious time to honour Athena with food, drink (a communal meal), offerings (such as olive oil) and prayers.

Here is a prayer you can use to honour Athena on this day:

“To Athena

I begin to sing of Pallas Athena, the glorious goddess, bright-eyed, inventive, unbending of heart, pure virgin, saviour of cities, courageous, Tritogeneia. Wise Zeus himself bare her from his awful head, arrayed in warlike arms of flashing gold, and awe seized all the gods as they gazed. But Athena sprang quickly from the immortal head and stood before Zeus who holds the aegis, shaking a sharp spear: great  Olympus began to reel horribly at the might of the bright-eyed goddess, and earth round about cried fearfully, and the sea was moved and tossed with dark waves, while foam burst forth suddenly: the bright Son of Hyperion stopped his swift-footed horses a long while, until the maiden Pallas Athena had stripped the heavenly armour from her immortal shoulders. And wise Zeus was glad.

And so hail to you, daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis! Now I will remember you and another song as well.”

(C) T. Georgitsis 

 

Athenian New Year

The 25th of June marks the Athenian New Year.

Although no official festivals occurred during this time in Ancient Greece, sacrifices were made to Athena and Zeus for protection for the coming of the new year.

This is an auspicious time to clean and revamp your shrines and finish up projects before the start of the new year

(C) T. Georgitsis

Dipolieia/Bouphonia Festival

 

 

On the 9th of June, the Hellenic Dipolieia/Bouphonia festival is observed.

The Dipolieia/Bouphonia is a festival which is dedicated to  Zeus.

The clergy would ritualistically sacrifice an ox for the desecration of Zeus’s alter at the Acropolis.  Afterwards the ox would be eaten during a feast as part of the festivities.

This is an auspicious time to make an offering to Zeus to recognize him as the king of the Gods.

Here is a prayer you can use to honour Zeus on this day:

To the Son of Cronos, Most High
[1] I will sing of Zeus, chiefest among the gods and greatest, all-seeing, the lord of all,
the fulfiller who whispers words of wisdom to Themis as she sits leaning towards him.
Be gracious, all-seeing Son of Cronos, most excellent and great!”

The Homeric Hymns a Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White

(C) T. Georgitsis

 

Skiraphoria Festival

On the 7th of June, the Hellenic Skiraphoria festival is observed.

The Skiraphoria is a 3 day agricultural festival which is dedicated to Athena, Poseidon, Demeter and Kore.

The clergy at the time would ritualistically enact the fertilizing of the crops through three sacred plowing which included blessings and thanksgivings.

The women of Athens would gather in public during this time and would eat garlic to ensure they abstained from sexual interaction wfrom men which they withheld on this day.

On this day young men would race to Dionysos’s shrine carrying vibe branches and the champion would receive food and drink which Athena blessed on the day.

This is an auspicious time to start putting into action some of your project plans for the future.

Offer wine, honey, cheese, olive oil, fruits and grains.

(C) T. Georgitsis

 

Plynteria Festival

On the 22st of May, the Hellenic Plynteria festival is observed.

The Plynteria is a festival in which the statue of Athena Polias who guards Athens is cleansed.

Women of the household of the Praxiergidai (the Athenian family tasked with the care of the statue of Athena Polias)  would take the image and remove the robes, jewelry, then wrap it for a formal procession to the sea at Phaleron, where it was purified by sea water.  At sundown the statue was taken by a torch lit formal procession back to the temple and re-adorned with clean robes and jewelry.

This is considered an importune time and considered quite unlucky so Athena’s temple was closed and so its a good time to clean and revamp Athena’s shrines/altars/tools.

Offer figs or cakes containing figs to Athena.

(C) T. Georgitsis

 

Kallynteria Festival

On the 21st of May, the Hellenic Kallynteria festival is observed.

The Kallynteria is a festival in which the temple of Athena was swept out, her lamps refilled and lit by her Athenian priestesses.

This is an auspicious time to clean and reset up your shrines or working altars to the gods – specifically Athena.

Offer olive branches or olive oil.

(C) T. Georgitsis

Khalkeia Festival

athens-1660400_1920

This months Deipnon coincides with the Hellenic Khalkeia festival.

The Khalkeia was the Athenian modern day labor day dedicated to artisans.

Offerings of grain were made along with sacrificial meat to the Greek Gods – Hephaestus and Athena.

This is an auspicious time to start big or complicated project related to arts and crafts.

athena-and-hephaestus-vasari
“Hephaestus’ Workshop” by  Giorgio Vasari

Here is a hymn to Hephaestus featuring Athena which you can use as an offering prayer on the day:

Homeric Hymn 20 to Hephaistos

Sing, clear-voiced Muse, of Hephaestus famed for inventions. With bright-eyed Athena he taught men glorious crafts throughout the world, —men who before used to dwell in caves in the mountains like wild beasts. But now that they have learned crafts through Hephaestus the famed worker, easily they live a peaceful life in their own houses the whole year round.  Be gracious, Hephaestus, and grant me success and prosperity!

 Translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White

(C) T. Georgitsis 2016