The Thargelia Festival


Thargelia is a Spring Festival which honours Delian Apollon, as the Great Purifier, and also honours Artemis and Demeter.  The first fruits of the earth are offered to the God in token of thankfulness, preceded by a purification ritual.   In the Athenian Calendar, the festival was celebrated during the month of Thargelion which generally falls around May.  The seventh day of every month was sacred to Apollon, who is known as Aevdomayaensis (born on the seventh day) with the 6th being sacred to Artemis, as Artemis was said to have been born the day before her twin brother Apollon, and 6th and 7th of Thargelion were celebrated as the birthdays of Artemis and Apollon respectively.

The name Thargelia has been translated as „first loaf“ or „pot of grain“.  Jane Harrison, in Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (p. 78), says :

„about the meaning of the word Thargelia…

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