Anthesteria


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Anthesteria

February-March
Anthesteria was a spring festival held for three days annually in ancient Athens during the Attic month of Anthesterion (February-March). Its purpose was to celebrate the beginning of spring, the god Dionysus, and the maturing of the wine stored during the previous year. The first day was celebrated by tasting the new wine from the previous vintage. This was known as the Pithoigia, or "opening of the casks." The second day, the Choes, or "pitcher feast," was a merry celebration of the marriage of the chief archon's (magistrate's) wife to Dionysus. A festival of the dead was held on the third day. This was called the Chutroi, or "feast of pots." This was a time of mourning to honor the dead, and to placate or expel ghosts. The three days of the Anthesteria incorporated the theme of birth-growth-death.
SOURCES:
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 64
EncyRel-1987, v. 1, p. 306
OxClassDict-1970, p. 67

Anthesteria

ancient Athenian festival, celebrating flowers and new wine. [Gk. Hist.: Misc.]
See: Flowers
References in periodicals archive ?
In the Apollonian Anthesteria ceremonies, for example, there were superstitious rituals, human sacrifices, and placation of ghosts.
This provision, Apollodorus says, was related to the religious duties undertaken by the archon's wife and especially her symbolic marriage with Dionysus during the festival of the Anthesteria.
On the first day of the Anthesteria, Stephanos recounts, 'I took jugs of the new wine to the shrine of Dionysos in the Marshes--that shrine where one can sometimes hear the frogs croaking, as Aristophanes points out in his Dionysosplay' (27).
Herbert Hoffmann interprets an attic ram-headed kantharos-rhyton by means of a journey through the ritual and religious representations of the festival of Anthesteria which was the context of the use and dedication of the vase.