). An Athenian festival celebrated on the
12th of the month Scirophorion (June-July), called after it. It was in honour of
Athené (or, according to some, Demeter and Koré), who was worshipped
under the name of Sciras near Sciron, a spot on the Sacred Way leading from Athens to Eleusis.
It had its name from the large white sunshade (σκίρον
beneath which the priestess of Athené (the patron goddess of the city), the priest
of Erechtheus, and the priest of Helios went to Sciron to sacrifice. The sunshade was a symbol
of heavenly protection against the rays of the sun, which began to burn more intensely during
the month of the festival. This protection was invoked with special reason, for the dry
limestone rock was thinly covered by a meagre surface of soil in the neighbourhood of Athens,
and particularly near Sciron itself. In this, as in other festivals of invocation, there were
also expiatory offerings; and hence they carried in the procession the hide of a ram that had
been sacrificed to Zeus as the mild and gracious deity. See A. Mommsen,
, pp. 440 foll.