The ancient Greek festival of Thesmophoria will be revived in Athens today
, at the Acropolis Museum
, followed by a two-day event, in an effort to promote culture, gastronomy, tourism and agricultural products in a comprehensive package. The event is organised by the Rural Development & Food ministry
, in collaboration with the Tourism ministry, the Greek National Tourism Organisation
(GNTO) and the Hellenic Folklore Research Centre
of the Academy of Athens.
Visitors to the Acropolis Museum will have the opportunity to taste Greek food made from agricultural products of exceptional quality, while on May 26, products from different regions of Greece that make up the "Greek Breakfast
," will be presented, as well as the “Cycladic Cheese Palet
" initiative, followed by cheese and wine tastings.
- Thesmophoria in Antiquity
In ancient times, Thesmophoria
was the most popular of festivals honouring Demeter and her daughter Persephone, where only women took part. During the festival, women
would gather at the shrine of Demeter, thus getting the chance to spend a few days away from home. Its nucleus was the distinction of the sexes and the formation of a union of women, in order to emphasize the importance of female fertility both for the community and the land. In Athens, the Thesmophoria lasted three days and followed a special ritual
Their spouses were not only obliged to consent to their women attending the festival, but also had to cover their expenses. They were not, however, allowed to attend or spy at the proceedings and were severely punished if they did so.
Equally, virgins were not allowed to participate; as to the hetairae
or female slaves ... well, it is a moot point. The great comic playwright and poet of antiquity, Aristophanes
, parodied the festival in the play Thesmophoriazusae
, but did not give much detail about the festival itself.