Sunday, February 2, 2014

Anthesteria 2014



Today's Festival

Today, we celebrated the Anthesteria at HTAZP.

While the festival is traditionally observed over the course of three days, we compressed this community celebration into a single festival day in three parts. The festival was led by Hiereus Peregrine Ursano.  Above, we see Dionysos with a picture of Ariadne and a plaque of Semele.

For the first component, Peregrine led us in the story of Dionysos' birth, including the myth of Zagreus, after which we processed into the main temple space and made the first round of offerings followed by theoxenia and painting masks for Dionysos representing the things that bring us joy.

Next, Peregrine shared the story of Dionysos and Ariadne. For this second "day," we offered sweets and wine, which we then shared as well.

Finally, in honor of the third day, an altar was set up for reminders of our ancestors.  To commemorate the day that Dionysos went to Hades to rescue Semele and bring Her to Olympus, leaving the gates open so that the dead returned to walk the Earth, we shared stories of the ancestors we had chosen to honor.  Once this was done, we "transported" them back to Hades' realm, with offerings of food and wine.

Representations of the ancestors not included in the above picture.  Left to right are Hermes, Hades, Persephone, and Hekate.

Coming Up

16 Diasion/16 February 2014Aphrodisia
30 Diasion/2 March 2014Diasia
14 Eiarinion/16 March 2014Eiarinia
28 Eiarinion/30 March 2014TBD

Of particular note, Aphrodisia will be celebrated by Scarlet Rose at a new private temple space.

Also, for Diasia, we will be once again collecting stuffed animals to donate to Project Smile in honor of Zeus Melikhios.  As we discovered that an event called the Annual Melee of Kindness is happening the day before, we are looking into expanding this practice beyond simply donating stuffed animals ourselves to teaming up with others to bring even more smiles to children who have been through traumatic events.  Watch this space for further details.  Or, if you would like to participate, please drop a comment or an email.

Until next time.