Athenian Festivals


Of all the ancient Greek festival calendars, the calendar of Attica is the most complete. For this reason, it is a popular choice in Hellenic Polytheist communities, and is by far the most common festival calendar. 

Like other Greek calendars Attic months traditionally start at dusk following the first visual sighting of the new moon. The New Year begins on the first new month following the summer solstice. Because lunar months diverge from solar, occasionally the month of Poseideon would be repeated, to keep the year in sync with the seasons. 

Jul – Aug n.
    Jan – Feb s.



4* - Aphrodisia
Aphrodite |  Dove sacrifice to purify the altar

12 - Kronia
Kronos | Feast and annual day off for the enslaved of Athens

16 - Synokia
Zeus Phratrios | Unification of the Tribal Brotherhoods

21 - Sacrifice to Artemis & Kourotrophos

28 - Panathenaia
Athene | The procession of Athene's new peplos and athletic games for Athene's birthday

 Aug – Sep n.
Feb – Mar s.



4* - Herakleia
Herakles | Feast and athletic festival for the men of Athens in the gymnasium

7 - Sacrifice to Apollon Patroos, Leto, Artemis, and Athene

12 - Sacrifice to Apollon Lykeios, Demeter, Zeus Polieus, and Athene Polias

15–18* - Eleusinia
Demeter & Persephone | Agricultural festival in thanks for the gift of corn, including athletic, horseriding, and music competitions

16 - Sacrifice to Kourotrophos and Artemis Hekate in Hekate's sancturary

19 - Sacrifice to the Heroines

20 - Sacrifice to Hera Telkhinia (of Charm)

25 - Sacrifice to Zeus Epopetes (the Overseer)

Sep – Oct n.
.      Mar – Apr s.



4 - Sacrifice to Basile

5 - Genesia
The Ancestors | A festival in honor of the ancestors and spirits of the dead

6 - Kharisteria | Artemis Agrotera
Artemis Agrotera | A military festival to commemorate the victory at Marathon

7 - Boedromia
Apollon Boedromios | A thanksgiving festival at the end of the war campaigning season

12 - Demokratia
Demokratia | A military festival celebrating Democracy

1521 - The Greater Mysteries
Demeter & Persephone | A week-long initiation of the myths and mysteries of Eleusis

17 or 18* - Epidauria
Asklepios | Procession and feast for the god in which he was thought to personally attend

27 - Sacrifice to Hermes, Gaia, Acheloos (river god), Alochos (hero), and the Nymphs

    Oct – Nov n.
    AprMay s.



6* - Proerosia
Demeter | Agricultural cereal-grain festival

7 - Pyanepsia and Oskhophoria
Apollon Pythios | Thanksgiving to Pythian Apollo for establishing the Proerosia festival
Dionysos |  Wine-pressing festival

8* - Theseia | Theseian Games
Theseus | Athletics festival in honor of the hero Theseus

9 - Stenia
Demeter & Persephone | A women's festival connected to the Thesmophoria

11–13 - Thesmophoria
Demeter Thesmophoros | 3-day agricultural festival for married women

14 - Sacrifice to the Heroines

16 - Sacrifice to Zeus and Zeus Horios (of the Boundary)

19–21* or 26–28* - Apaturia
Zeus Phratrios & Athene Phratria | Annual family reunion to introduce new wives and babies

30 - Khalkeia
Athene | The day the loom was set up for Athene's annual peplos

    Nov – Dec n.
      MayJun s.



Last Third of the Month - Pompaia
Zeus Meilichios | An apotropaic and propitiary procession to protect the city through winter

    Dec – Jan n.
      Jun Jul s.



? - Rural Dionysia
Dionysos | A small local festival for Dionysos involving drinking, local games, and theatrical performances

8* - Posideia
Poseidon Asphaleios & Poseidon Orthosios | Obscure festival involving a procession, athletic competitions, and a traditional cake offering

16 - Sacrifice to Zeus Horios

26 - Haloa
Demeter | A women's festival and feast of many foods and offerings of phallus-shaped cakes

    Jan – Feb n.
      JulAug s.



7 - Sacrifice to Apollon Delphinios (of Delphi/ of the womb), Apollon Lykeios (of the Wolves), and Kourotrophos

8 - Sacrifice to Apollon Apotropaios (Averter of Evil), Apollon Nymphegetes (Leader of the Nymphs) and the Nymphs

9 - Sacrifice to Athene

12–19 - Lenaia
Dionysos Lenaios |  Theater festival of tragedies and comedies

27 - Theogamia
Hera Teleia | Annual marriage of Hera and Zeus

Feb – Mar n.
      AugSep s.



2 - Sacrifice to Dionysos

11–13 - Anthesteria
Dionysos | Wine opening festival

20–26* - The Lesser Mysteries
Pherrephata (Persephone) & Persephone Hagne | Prepatory initiation for the Greater Mysteries with a focus on the myths

23 - Diasia
Zeus Meilichios | A vegetarian family picnic outside the city walls with toy-sellers for the children

Mar – Apr n.
      SepOct s.



Spring Equinox* - Galaxia
The Mother of the Gods |  Grain feast

6 - Elaphebolia
Artemis Elaphebolos |  Commemorative Victory over the Persians in which each household offered stag-shaped cakes

8 - Asklepieia
Asklepios |  A feast

10–16 - City Dionysia
Dionysos Eleutherios | A massive parade with music and theater competitions

16 - Sacrifice to Semele and Dionysos

17 - Pandia
Zeus | Little is known about this festival

Apr – May n.
OctNov s.



4 - Eros festival
Eros | Nothing is known about this festival, other than the date and the god honoured. As a spring time event it may relate to the fertility of crops. The inscription was found in the temple of Aphrodite.

4* - Adonia festival
Adonis | A private women's revelry on the rooftops with "Gardens of Adonis" (pots of lettuce with a little Adonis doll in the center)

6 - Delphinia
Apollon & Artemis (?) |  A procession of maidens carrying olive boughs wrapped in white wool to the Delphinion sanctuary in supplication

16 - Mounichia
Artemis Potnia Theron | Bear festival where offerings of "shining all round" cakes were given

19 - Olympieia
Zeus Olympos | A stream of athletic and horse-riding competitions followed by a large-scale beef feast

20 - Sacrifice to Leukaspis (khthonic hero)

21 - Sacrifice to the Tritopatores "third-fathers" (Ancestors)

May – Jun n.
Nov –  Dec s


4 - Sacrifice to Zeus, Hermes, Leto, Apollon Pythios (Pythian), Apollon Paion (the Healing; referred to both healing, averting evil, and hymns), and the Dioscuri

6–7 - Thargelia
Apollon | A purificatory and blessings focused festival where scapegoats were banished from the city and olive branches filled with "first fruits" were taken to the temple

16 - Sacrifice to Zeus Epakrios (of the Heights)

19 - Bendideia
Bendis | Evening torch race on horseback followed by all-night revelry

25–26 - Plynteria
Athene | Washing rites for Athene's peplos, statue, and temple

28* - Kallynteria
Athene | All-night revelry and re-adorning rites for the statue

Jun – Jul n.
DecJan s.



3* - Arrephoria/Arrhephoria
Athene | Private rite of the "dew-carriers" where her hierai conclude their service by carrying the sacred things to an underground spring

12 - Skira/Skiraphoria
Athene Skiras & Demeter | A women's festival to retrieve the piglets from the gorge; Men held an athletics competition

14 - Dipolieia
Zeus Polieus |  An "ox-killing" rite in which the sacrificial ax is tried for murder

Last Third of the Month - Diisoteria
Zeus Soter | A large-scale procession, military sailing contest, and a banquet in which the god was believed to be in attendance

Last Day of the Month - Sacrifice to Zeus Soter (the Savior) and Athene Soteria (the Savior)

* speculative date
n. nth hemisphere months (approximate)
s.  sth hemisphere months (approximate)

Note: Not all Athenian festivals are related to a season, some relate to anniversaries of important events instead

Attic Dates 

The dates below are set to start at midnight, and are calculated for Athens

Muse, thrust aside wars
and glorifying with me
the marriages of gods
and the banquets of men
and the festivities of the blessed. . .

– Stesichorus