Greco-Roman 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

  • Anthesteria

    Anthesteria was one of the festivals held in honor of Dionysus. It was celebrated in most Ionian communities, but most of our information about the festival comes from Athens, where it was of particular importance...

  • Apaturia

    Apaturia was a festival celebrated in Athens and nearly all other Ionian towns. Apaturia is unique among Greek festivals in being associated with a particular social group: the phratry, or brotherhood...

  • Great Dionysia Festival

    Many festivals of Dionysus were held in ancient Greece; this article concerns the major Dionysian festival known as Great Dionysia or City Dionysia...

  • Thargelia

    Thargelia was a festival of Apollo held in Athens on the 6th and 7th of Thargelion (late May). It was both a vegetation festival and a ritual expiation of communal guilt...