Observations placeholder

The Anthestheria festival

Identifier

016290

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A description of the experience

The Anthestheria festival

In addition to Dionysos' mythical loves, there was also a curious cult practice involving the sacred marriage, or hieros gamos, of a mortal woman to the god Dionysos.

In Athens during the Anthestheria festival in the spring, the wife of the royal archon spent the night in the god's sanctuary, awaiting a visit from the god who was to come and consummate relations with her. (Jameson 54-56)

While it is unknown precisely what transpired and how, the occasion of a kingly figure surrendering his own wife to the god would seem to testify to the perceived power of Dionysos; it signifies the yielding of mundane authority to divine potency.

The source of the experience

Dionysos [and the Dionysian Mysteries]

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References