Wednesday, April 28, 2010


The Bouphonia, sometimes spelled Buphonia, is a festival for Zeus that historically involved the slaying of an ox to purify the temple. Another name for the festival is the Dipolieia.

Bouphonia 2013

Sunday, April 4, 2010


A festival of Hephaestos celebrated with a torch race (Parke, 1977, p. 171; Simon, 1983, p. 53) as well as choruses, processions, and offerings of cattle (Simon, 1983, p. 53).


Parke, H. (1986). Festivals of the Athenians. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.

Simon, E. (1983). Festivals of Attica: An archaeological commentary. Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press.


This is a festival that has had much conflicting scholarship on its origins.  Some texts suggest it may have been a women-only festival while others suggest that the all-women's component was a concurrent but separate festival for Demeter and Kore.  The Skiraphoria is named for the Skiron, a large, white sun-shade, carried in procession to honor Athena, Poseidon, and the Sun.  A priest of Helios, a priest of Poseidon and a priestess of Athena led this procession.  This is believed to have symbolized the need to build shelter as this was considered a propitious time to build.  It is often considered a festival primarily to Athena, though Poseidon's inclusion due to His cult at the Acropolis, is unsurprising.  The inclusion of the Sun is puzzling (Parke, 1977, 156-169).

Another interpretation of the festival is that it was about reconciliation between Athena and Poseidon, with Helios as the one who witnesses all that happens under the light of the sun and bears witness to all oaths overseeing the day.  This interpretation gives some context to the footrace of men from Poseidon's temple to Athena's carrying olive branches.

Skiraphoria 2015


Parke, H. (1977). Festivals of the Athenians. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.