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τὰ ἀνθεσφόρια). A flower-festival, principally celebrated in Sicily, in honour of Demeter and Persephoné, in commemoration of the return of Persephoné to her mother in the beginning of spring. It consisted in gathering flowers and twining garlands, because Persephoné had been carried off by Pluto while engaged in this occupation. 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 in honour of Heré, surnamed Ἀνθεία, at Argos. Aphrodité, too, was worshipped at Cnossus, under the name Ἀνθεία, and has therefore been compared with Flora (q.v.), the Roman deity, as the anthesphoria have been with the Roman festival of the florifertum.

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