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θεσμοφόρια). A festival to Demeter, as the founder of agriculture and of the civic rite of marriage, celebrated in many parts of Greece, but especially at Athens. It was held at Athens from the ninth to the thirteenth of the month Pyanepsion (the beginning of November), and only by married women of genuine Attic birth and of blameless reputation. Two of the wealthiest and most distinguished women were chosen out of every district to preside over the festivals; their duty was to perform the sacred functions in the name of the others, and to prepare the festal meal for the women of their own district. Even the priestess, who had the chief conduct of the whole festival, had to be a married woman. On the Stenia, the first day of the feast (Στήνια), the women went in procession, amid wanton jests and gibes, to the deme of Halimus, on the promontory of Colias, where nightly celebrations were held in the Temple of Demeter and her daughter Coré. After their return (ἄνοδος) in the early morning of the third day, a festival lasting for three days was held in Athens. No sacrifices were offered on the last day but one, which was spent amid fasting and mourning. On the last day, on which Demeter was invoked under the name of Calligeneia, “goddess of fair children,” a feast (ζημία) was held amid mimic dances and games, which probably referred to the mythical stories of the goddess and her daughter. See Preller, Demeter und Persephoné, pp. 335-365; A. Mommsen, Heortologie, pp. 287-302.

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