Happy Anthesteria!

Today is the eleventh (or twelfth, or thirteenth…frankly, we’re not sure) of the Attic Greek month of Ανθηστηριων (Anthesterion to our Latinate readers), which means only one thing – it’s the Ancient Greek festival of the Anthesteria! It’s the only Greek month named after a festival (and not vice versa), and celebrates the blooming of flowers and the maturing of the vintage wine. There are also some aspects of a “Day of the Dead”-esque expulsion of spirits, but it could also be a revocation of the living.

Here’s the rundown on the Anthesteria:

  • Day 1 -Πιθοίγια (Pithoigia)- libations were offered from the new vintage to Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and revelry (you know Bacchus? Dionysus was the Greek – read: original – version).
  • Day 2 – Choës – A day of drinking and revelry, while wearing gallant dress and sometimes costumes. Sort of like Halloween. 
  • Day 3- Chytroi – A day of the dead; offerings given to Hermes Chthonios, the messenger god in his capacity of Hades; an informal rehearsal for the Greater Dionysia took place.

Either way, happy Anthesteria!

Join me tomorrow for our first installment of Tuesday Afternoon Stuff I Dislike, where I show my disgust for Jersey Shore.


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