They played war games that took strategy, strength, and endurance to win. Holidays of the Hellenes . For 21st Century holidaymakers, holidays to Greece offer the chance to enjoy modern amenities and explore ancient relics. Eleusinia - festival of games held at Eleusis. On the day of the sacrifice they were led round with strings of figs on their necks, and whipped on the genitals with rods of figwood and squills. His priests were drawn from the list of boys who were not full Athenian citizens (nothoi). [18], Athenian women held their own festivals that often excluded men, such as the Thesmophoria, Adonia, and Skira. They were constructed with an outdoor courtyard. Report a problem. A.B. It’s crunchy and sweet and very decadent. Next came the Ludi Ceriales, which honored Ceres, the goddess of grains, beginning April 12th. Many animals were sacrificed in Athenian festivals, but the most common animals were sheep, lamb, and goat. Children of wealthier families held a naming ceremony on the tenth day called dekate. Non-citizen women and slaves would be present as prostitutes or workers for the male guests, but were not included in the actual festival. [23], Other forms of sacrifice took place at Athenian festivals, such as food and other items. Use this KS1 Ancient Greek resource to make an olympic torch. This day coincides with a National Holiday in Greece, the day where the Greeks declared the Revolutionary War against the Turks, on March 25th, 1821. This lesson will discuss the three most popular festivals: Wepet Renpet, the Festival of Opet, and t… Offerings of agricultural products took place at the Proerosia, the Thargelia, the Pyanospia, the Thalysia and the Pithoigia. Asia offers a heady mix of diverse traditions, religions, cuisine and architecture. Next, we will explore Ancient Epidavros (approx. The ancient Greeks celebrated all kinds of festivals and holidays in the different city-states. It’s crunchy and sweet and very decadent. Ianouarios (Latin: Ianuarius, Eng: January) Kalends (January), Roman era, Gregorian calendar, January 1: First day of the New Year, in… The ancient Athenians celebrated the festival, which commemorated the death of Heracles, on the second day of the month of Metageitnion (which would fall in late July or early August), at the Κυνοσαργες (Kynosarges) gymnasium at the demos Diomeia outside the walls of Athens, in a sanctuary dedicated to Heracles. Usually the Hermaea honoured Hermes as patron of sport and gymnastics, often in conjunction with Heracles. Other Athenian festivals were based around family, citizenship, sacrifice and women. The courtyard was an important area for the Greek. The Lenaia took place (in Athens) in the month of Gamelion, roughly corresponding to January. The Spruce. Greece. Goats were commonly sacrificed at the festivals of Dionysus, Apotropaiso, Lykeios, and Pythois. The animal would be skinned and then cooked over the altar for the participants to consume. This festival was held in honor of the Goddesses Athena and Demeter, where women would eat garlic as it was linked to sexual abstinence to oppose the men in the community and their husbands. During Energyia holistic fitness holidays in Greece retreat holidays with Michele Wilburn include retreat activities with exercises for mind, body and spirit. For 21st Century holidaymakers, holidays to Greece offer the chance to enjoy modern amenities and explore ancient relics. Browse through Athens’ famous flea market. Festivals hosted by women were not supported by the state and instead were private festivals run and funded by wealthy women. © 2004-2020 ReligionFacts. Greeks are known to be philosophers and innovators. It was a period of political, philosophical, artistic, and scientific achievements that formed a legacy with unparalleled influence on Western civilization. Check out our awesome reviews on TripAdvisor! Travel opportunities within the ancient Greek world largely depended on status and profession; nevertheless, a significant proportion of the population could, and did, travel across the Mediterranean to sell their wares, skills, go on religious pilgrimage, see sporting events or even travel simply for the pleasure of seeing the magnificent sights of the ancient world. Fifty centuries of history have surely left their mark on the country’s landscape. In these festivals, men would present their sons to the clan to swear an oath of legitimacy. They celebrated with games, large food banquets, and parties. For anyone interested in ancient Greece, this iconic and well established Classical Tour of Greece allows you to experience the very best of the Ancient Greek sites. The event in question, according to the ancient writers, could be the help brought to Theseus in his war against the Amazons, or the assistance provided to the king Erechtheus during his struggle against Eumolpus. Some of the most important festivals of ancient Greece involved athletic competition, such as the Olympic Games, which were held in honour of Zeus, and the Pythian Games, held at Delphi in honour of Apollo. Ancient Athens and Beyond will lead you around Olympia, Delphi and Plaka – home of the Acropolis. Overview of holidays and many observances in Greece during the year 2020 Ancient, agricultural peoples lived and died by the sun, so it makes sense that celebrations in honor of the winter solstice and the renewal it represents are observed across the world. Athenian Holidays. The Panathenaea (Ancient Greek: Παναθήναια, "all-Athenian festival") was the most important festival for Athens and one of the grandest in the entire ancient Greek world. Official Holidays in Greece New Year's Day and St. Vasileios Day Greek Independence Day (Ottoman Empire 1820's) [25], For a fuller discussion of the name considering multiple interpretations, cf. If you like your holidays with a dose of history, our tours of mainland Greece should do the trick. The Ludi Megalenses was celebrated annually beginning April 4th from 191 B.C.E. They used it as an altar to worship the gods. It was a period of political, philosophical, artistic, and scientific achievements that formed a legacy with unparalleled influence on Western civilization. This festival could be attended by everybody except for slaves, and was in honour of the goddess Athena. Santoríni is the other Cyclade with a notable local cuisine, relying on … On Good Friday the people of the towns and villages carry candles and follow the procession of the Epitaph. Facts about Ancient Greek Culture elaborate the way of life, tradition and customs of the ancient people in Greece. It used to be called the Thasos Philippi Festival, but now that the ancient theatre on … This includes festivals held in honor of Athena, Dionysus, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, Persephone, Hermes, and Herakles. The name derives from thesmoi, or laws by which men must work the land. Saturday in Holy Week the ceremony of the resurrection takes place in the courtyard in front of all churches and bells... Easter Sunday is the biggest church holiday in Greece. Lenaia probably comes from lenai, another name for the Maenads, the female worshippers of Dionysus. The Dionysia was a large religious festival in ancient Athens in honor of the god Dionysus, the central event of which was the performance of tragedies and, from 487 BCE, comedies. The festival took place in the late summer and lasted between one and eight days. By. Another reason to book Greece holidays is so you can sample the fabulous national cuisine. Easter is the most important festival of the Greek Orthodox Church. Things to do. Ancient Greek food depended a lot on fish and bread, olive oil and wine. Festivals were a great feature of ancient Grecian life. There are either of a religious character or coming from paganism. [22] Ritual sacrifice in Athens had three main steps: the preparation of the sacrifice, the distribution, and consumption of the sacrificial animal. The major Greek holidays include New Year's Day, Independence Day, Festival of the Flowers (Protomayia / Πρωτομαγιά) and Labor Day, Oxi (Όχι) Day, and Christmas. Make a quick and easy Olympic torch with craft paper to reenact your own Olympic relay at home. It was a family festival of the Athenians, at which the newly born child was introduced into the family, and children of poorer families received its name. Ancient Greek History, Mythology, Philosophy and Monuments. But all-inclusive holidays in Greece offer the perfect base to see a little more. The second day was spent in merriment and feasting; because Adonis was allowed to return to life, and spend half of the year with Aphrodite. The offerings were more likely to happen in areas prone to frost, drought, rain and hailstorms. Panathenaea. [9] At Athens, the last month of the year was Skirophorion, after the festival. Many of their festivals were based upon either the timing of the lunar calendar or the flooding of the Nile river. Greek history is an epic story of the territory of Greece and the Greek people in the parts of the world that they ruled. Greek Religion Holidays. Greek holidays and festivals are some of such. [10] Their joint temple on the Acropolis was the Erechtheum, where Poseidon embodied as Erechtheus remained a numinous presence. [2] At the centre of this wine-drinking festival was the celebration of the maturing of the wine stored at the previous vintage, whose pithoi were now ceremoniously opened, and the beginning of spring. Archaeology tours. After breakfast, we visit Ancient Olympia, the site that hosted the first Olympic Games. During a holiday in Greece you can of course enjoy the Greek sun, sea and beaches, but there is also plenty of opportunity for water sports. It has been estimated that festivals happened on 120 days each year. The Dionysia actually comprised two related festivals, the Rural Dionysia and the City Dionysia, which took place in different parts of the year. Pyanepsia - a bean feast. A procession assembled before dawn at the Dipylon gate in the northern sector of the city. Guided tour of Delphi, home of the legendary ‘oracle’, the ancient fountain of all wisdom. Despite the fact that the Greeks were the least likely to sail during these months, they held a celebration in Athens called Posidea to celebrate Poseidon. In the Cretan city of Cydonia, the festival had a more Saturnalian character, as the social order was inverted and masters waited on their slaves.[12][13]. During the event, sacrifices were also made to Artemis Agrotera. It was the second-most important festival after the Panathenaia. [4] On the first day, they brought into the streets statues of Adonis, which were laid out as corpses; and they observed all the rites customary at funerals, beating themselves and uttering lamentations, in imitation of the cries of Aphrodite for the death of her paramour. The event in question, according to the ancient writers, could be the help brought to Theseus in his war against the Amazons, or the assistance p… [citation needed], There were festivals held as a way to protest the power of the men in Athens, and empower the women in the community. Anthesteria - festival of Dionysus and the new wine, Apaturia - festival of the phratry brotherhood, Eleusinia - festival of games held at Eleusis, Thargelia - festival of Apollo and the new harvest, Thesmophoria - festival of Demeter celebrated by women. 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