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published: 1/20/05
updated: 12/16/13

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Ancient Greek Festivals

Ancient Greek festivals were major religious events that recurred annually, every two years, or every four years. The purposes and rituals of the festivals varied a great deal, but all had in common the desire to maintain a good relationship with the gods. The festivals of Athens are best known, and they were plentiful: Athens set aside at least 60 days a year for annual festivals.

  • Anthesteria - festival of Dionysus and the new wine
  • Apaturia - festival of the phratry brotherhood
  • Dionysia - dramatic festival of Dionysus
  • Eleusinia - festival of games held at Eleusis
  • Panathenaea
  • Pyanepsia - a bean feast
  • Thargelia - festival of Apollo and the new harvest
  • Thesmophoria - festival of Demeter celebrated by women

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