It has been a quiet month in some ways, as various life events have impacted scheduling, but there is still plenty happening and more coming up.
Today, we celebrated the Delphinia at HTAZP. There are actually some different schools of thought on this festival, due to limited historical information. At HTAZP, we observe this festival as a time to honor Apollon for His protection of seafaring travelers either in the guise of or by sending His dolphins.
Offerings include a staff decorated with wool and ribbons (an iketiria), an ocean-scented candle, tuna salad sandwiches and apple pie, and a "dolphin adoption." It has also become a temple tradition to bring divinatory items to be blessed at this time, due to the association with Apollo's return to Delphi as well.
The iketiria is reminiscent of Theseus' offering in supplication for smooth sailing. There is some thought that this was also a time of transition for the youth of Athens, particularly the maidens who brought these offerings, and so we make this offering with supplications of our own for metaphoric "smooth sailing" in any areas in which we are experiencing transitions.
About the Delphinia
As mentioned above, there is very little historical information on this festival. Wikipedia actually summarizes what there is fairly well in a very short entry. There is a school of thought that this is actually an Artemisian festival. There is a case to be made, considering the dating would place it on the 6th, a day traditionally associated with Artemis, rather than the 7th, which is Apollon's day. The tale of Theseus' offering and the name of the festival, however, lend weight to the Apollonian interpretation. Some Hellenists choose to honor both twins to cover all the possibilities.
In so far as the return of Apollon to Delphi, there is no clear date for this, but HTAZP chooses this festival to commemorate that event as well. As is often the case, when there is little "hard evidence" to work with, sometimes it becomes necessary to make a logical or intuitive leap to settle on a practice or the timing of an observance.
There is a naming approaching (quickly!), and the next festivals will be the Thargelia on May 5 and the Bouphonia on May 26th. Looking further ahead, June 9th will be the Panaphobeia or Feast of Fear and June 23 the Philokhoria. Then the year will turn and we'll have our annual Anadikia/Athenian New Year Retreat on the weekend of July 6-7.
That's it for now. As always, if you have thoughts or comments you'd like to share, you are invited to do so!