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 ?
The three winners of the competition will be announced and awards will be presented, after the Anthesteria Flower Parade, which will take place on Sunday, May 29 at Poseidonos Avenue in Kato Paphos.
7) This presence of ghosts is also one of several parallels the poems shows with Harrison's description of the Anthesteria, an ancient Greek spring fertility festival dedicated to Dionysus during which the dead rose up and went about the city (Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion 76; Themis 289).
Besides being a festival of wine, the Anthesteria was a feast for the dead; (42) the ghosts of the dead were banished to their grave-pithoi at the feast's conclusion: [?
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).
Sacrifices were made to Hermes psychopompos (conductor of souls into the underworld) and bad spirits were willed away: "Go, you Keres, the Anthesteria is ended".
The Choes and Anthesteria Reconsidered: Male Maturation Rites and the Peloponnesian Wars," in Rites of Passage in Ancient Greece: Literature, Religion, Society, ed.
37) Also, public festivals of Dionysus such as the Anthesteria and the rural Dionysia included both men and women and involved rites of sacrifice.
Detienne compares the situation to that at Athens with the wife of the arkhon basileus and fourteen Gerarai playing a prominent role in activities, including sacrifice, at the sanctuary of Dionysos in the Marshes at the Anthesteria.
If the ritual vessels excavated by Korres are in fact Dionysian in character, then the festivals of the City Dionysia and the Anthesteria, including the sacred marriage between Dionysos and the wife of the archon basileus (basilinna), may also have taken place here.
The satyrs may have had a strong connection not only to the underworld but also to the Keres, particularly in the context of the Anthesteria (e.