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. Learn more about ancient Greece on HISTORY.com. The name derives from thesmoi, or laws by which men must work the land. They were also an essential part of the Dionysian Mysteries. History; History / Ancient history / Ancient civilisations; 7-11; View more. Dionysia - dramatic festival of Dionysus. It was a period of political, philosophical, artistic, and scientific achievements that formed a legacy with unparalleled influence on Western civilization. Aphrodisia, festival of Aphrodite, ancient Greece was, according to Wilson’s Almanac celebrated on or around February 6th. This includes festivals held in honor of Athena, Dionysus, Apollo, Artemis, Demeter, Persephone, Hermes, and Herakles. Customs and traditions in Greece and the Greek Islands are an important aspect of the Greek culture. With plenty to see and do for families and couples alike, you can make your Greek holidays exactly what you want them to be! There were competitions in music, poetry, drama and also athletics. Furthermore, most of the traditions and festivals still celebrated today are religious. Lent begins 48 days before Easter. The festivals of Athens are best known, and they were plentiful: Athens set aside at least 60 days a year for annual festivals. Almost every day of the year, there is a celebration somewhere in Greece. These animals were reserved for larger festivals like Buphonia. In Athens and other parts of ancient Greece, there is a month that roughly corresponds with December/January that is … A.B. Greek people thought food separated people from gods: people cooked their food and ate it, but gods lived on smoke and nectar from sacrifices. In Athens and other parts of ancient Greece, there is a month that roughly corresponds with December/January that is named Poseidon for the sea-god Poseidon. Holiday Traditions in Greece . If you like your holidays with a dose of history, our tours of mainland Greece should do the trick.  The Thesmophoria was a major women's festival held in the honour of Demeter. The actors wore masks ( like the one pictured on the right) so that the audience members sitting far away could easily spot different characters. Many of their festivals were based upon either the timing of the lunar calendar or the flooding of the Nile river. By. Many Greeks do … Easter is the most important festival of the Greek Orthodox Church. If you’d like to invoke the Goddess of love, sex, and beauty, you can prepare for a feast honoring Aphrodite’s loving sensuality and warmth. Many animals were sacrificed in Athenian festivals, but the most common animals were sheep, lamb, and goat. Situated on the south Eastern coast of Sicily and surrounded by the Ionian Sea, Syracuse is one of the most important towns in Italy for its architecture, monuments and art. Goats were commonly sacrificed at the festivals of Dionysus, Apotropaiso, Lykeios, and Pythois. This was preceded by wailing on the rooftops that could be heard throughout the city. The ancient Greeks loved games of skill and competition and cleverness. 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. Common themes of festivals hosted by women were the transitioning from a girl to a woman, as well as signs of fertility. Overview of holidays and many observances in Greece during the year 2020 Updated: Jan 26, 2015. pub, 485 KB. It could also commemorate a specific intervention at the origin of the festival. Both these helped the ancient Greeks to benefit from their climate and soil types. 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. Yamas to Tas! The Anthesteria, one of the four Athenian festivals in honour of Dionysus (collectively the Dionysia), was held annually for three days, the eleventh to thirteenth of the month of Anthesterion (the January/February full moon); it was preceded by the Lenaia. The men were the sacrificers; they would cut their hair as an offering, then butcher the animal on the altar. Athenian women were allowed to attend the majority of festivals, but often had limited participation in the festivities or feasts. Greece Guided Tours. It was the second-most important festival after the Panathenaia. The plays were either comedies or tragedies. They used it as an altar to worship the gods. 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. Ancient Greek Antefix in the shape of a Theatrical Mask. One popular game was similar to basketball. That time, the country becomes the field of many important battles and new cities are constructed, such as Nikopolis in western Greece. Categories & Ages. This is why military parades take place that day in all Greek towns. Ancient Greek Holidays Apaturia- festival of brotherhood/ friends Eleusinia- festival of the games held at Eleusis Pyanepsia- festival of beans Thargelia- festival of Apollo and the new harvest Samantha Spivack The Panathena games had many activities including: javelin throw Central Holidays' travel packages to Greece offer you near endless options to discover ancient antiquities, soak up the sun, and meet friendly, fun-loving people. In the northernmost Greek prefecture of Evron in the region of Thrace, a special sesame baklava is made on Christmas Eve. Nowruz. Stallsmith's article "Interpreting the Thesmophoria" in, "Pig bones, votive pigs, and terracottas, which show a, "Women's Commensality in the Ancient Greek World", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Athenian_festivals&oldid=995373807, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Wikipedia introduction cleanup from November 2015, Articles covered by WikiProject Wikify from November 2015, All articles covered by WikiProject Wikify, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from January 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 20 December 2020, at 18:12. It has been estimated that festivals happened on 120 days each year. For 21st Century holidaymakers, holidays to Greece offer the chance to enjoy modern amenities and explore ancient relics. Guided tour of Delphi, home of the legendary ‘oracle’, the ancient fountain of all wisdom. They celebrated with games, large food banquets, and parties. All rights reserved. The Apaturia (Greek: Ἀπατούρια) were Ancient Greek festivals held annually by all the Ionian towns, except Ephesus and Colophon who were excluded due to acts of bloodshed. , Athenian women held their own festivals that often excluded men, such as the Thesmophoria, Adonia, and Skira. The oath was made to preserve the purity of the bloodline and their connection to the original settlers. 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. Expiatory ceremony the polis could take part in the parts of the Greek holidays better way to learn a. 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