), a flower or spring festival, principally celebrated
in Sicily in honour of Demeter and Persephone, in commemoration of the
return of Persephone to her mother in the beginning of spring. It consisted
in gathering flowers and twining garlands, because Persephone had been
carried off by Pluto while engaged in this occupation. (Pollux, 1.37.)
Strabo (vi. p.256
) relates that at
Hipponium the women celebrated a similar festival in honour of Demeter,
which was probably called anthesphoria, since it was derived from Sicily.
The women themselves gathered the flowers for the garlands which they wore
on the occasion, and it would have been a disgrace to buy the flowers for
that purpose. Anthesphoria were also solemnized in honour of other deities,
especially [p. 1.127]
in honour of Hera, surnamed Ἀνθεία,
at Argos (Paus.
), where maidens, carrying baskets filled with flowers,
went in procession, whilst a tune called ἱεράκιον
was played on the flute. (Comp. Etym.
p. 57.) Aphrodite, too, was worshipped at Cnossus, under the
(Hesych. sub voce
), and has therefore been compared with Flora,
the Roman deity, as the anthesphoria have been with the Roman festival of