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Religion and Belief: Festivals project- Write about each of the festivals mentioned, explaining in detail the reasons for the festivals.

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Religion and Belief Festivals project- Write about each of the festivals mentioned, explaining in detail the reasons for the festivals. The Athenians of the 5th century bc regularly took part in religious festivals. They had these for a number of reasons * To honour the gods * To relax * To feast * To enjoy themselves * To experience a sense of community * To enjoy drama and athletics * To give all classes the chance to participate * To recognise various stages in life and to show other states their wealth and power. The Skira This festival was held to honour Demeter at the threshing time and was restricted to women. Women threw into holes in the ground various offerings, especially piglets, which were symbols and sacred to Demeter. They also threw in snakes and male genital organs made from dough. ...read more.


The result seems to have been obscene language, strange behaviour (women carried around models of male and female genitalia) and promiscuity. The reasons for this festival seem to be basically for women to feast and enjoy themselves. Rural Dionysia/The city Dionysia This was a procession where a huge phallus was carried and a hymn was sung to Phales, the personification of phallus. This festival was held to promote fertility. It as a chance for women to break away from their everyday routine and it was a licensed and controllable outlet for the pent-up hostilities and frustrations of suppressed classes of the population. The city Dionysia was a competition of dramatic and lyric poetry performed in the theatre of the Dionysus on the south slope of the acropolis. This festival provided a showcase for the artistic talents of Athens and it demonstrated her public supremacy: at this time the allies had to hand over their tribute and it was displayed in the theatre. ...read more.


This festival gave all classes the chance to participate and to experience a sense of community. Genesia Originally this was celebrated on the birthday of a deceased individual but it became a national day of remembrance for the dead. Taphai This was the annual ceremony for the war dead. Hyacinthia In mythology, Hyacinthia was a favourite of Apollo and also Zephyrus who directed the wind so that Apollo's discus struck Hyacinthus' head, killing him. The festival lasted three days. On day one there were sacrifices to the dead and to hyacinthus. On days two and three joyful processions and contests in honour of Apollo were held.(This was held to make sacrifices to the dead and to honour Apollo). Apatouria This was celebrated by the phratries . On the third and final day, new born infants, youths of 16 and newly married wives were officially registered in the phratries. Also included was a day of hair shearing. This festival was intended to celebrate stages in peoples life, for people to relax and for people to enjoy themselves. ...read more.

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