Festivals: Pyanepsia

On 7 Pyanepsion in Attica, Apollo was honored at the Pyanepsia (Pyanopsia, Puanepsia), a festival that takes its name from a dish of beans and grains traditionally offered and eaten on this occasion. (Parker, Polytheism 185) Other customs associated with the Pyanepsia include the making and display of the eireisione, an olive branch decorated with wool and hung with other items, possibly including fruit, bread, honey, oil and wine (204), which was offered at Apollo’s temple as well as being hung at private homes after being carried through the streets by troupes of boys (480). Several myths were attached to the Pyanepsia, including the tale of Theseus’ return from Crete, when he and his men offered the last of their stores to the god—a porridge of beans and grains (382). Another Athenian festival observed on this day was the Oskhophoria, honoring Dionysos.

I’ve posted my ritual for Pyanepsia at my other blog.

A PDF version of the ritual script is available here.


Parker, Robert. Polytheism and Society at Athens. Oxford University Press: New York, 2005.

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