THARYÍLIA - 

ΘΑΡΓHΛΙΑ

and the Birthday of 

Ártæmis
                                                  
                                                                 

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Tharyília (Thargelia; Gr. Θαργήλια, ΘΑΡΓHΛΙΑ. Pronounced: thar-YEE-lee-ah) 

Tharyília is the festival honoring the yænǽthlia (genethlia; Gr. γενέθλια) or birthday, of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). A festival to honor the birthday of a God is called an Æpivatírion (Epibaterion; Gr. Ἐπιβᾰτήριον), therefore, Tharyília is the Æpivatírion of Apóllohn.  

Tharyília is observed in the ancient Athenian month of Tharyilióhn (Thargelion; Gr. Θαργηλιών), on the seventh day, for which the God is known as Ævdomayænís (Ebdomagenes; Gr. Ἑβδομᾱγενής), meaning born on the seventh day. Because of this, Tharyília is also called the Ævdomaion (Ebdomaion; Gr. Ἑβδομαῖον), the Seventh-Day-Festival, although this name (Ævdomaion) can also be applied to the seventh day of any ancient Athenian month because each seventh day was dedicated to Apóllohn.

Tharyília occurs in springtime. There is disagreement as to which particular day it falls on the modern calendar. In our tradition Tharyília always falls on May 21, the first day of Dídymi (Gemini; Gr. Δίδυμοι), which is the ninth month of the Mystery year, and this entire month is under the dominion of Apóllohn. 

The 

Æpivatírion of Ártæmis (Artemis; Gr. Ἄρτεμις), the 

festival celebrating her birthday

, is celebrated the day before Tharyília because, according to the mythology, she was born one day before her brother. Consequently, Tharyília is often thought as a 2-day holiday, but in reality, Tharyília is the birthday-celebration of Apóllohn only; 

the birthday

 of Artæmis is a separate, though related, holiday.

To summarize, May 20th is the birthday-celebration of ÁrtæmisApóllohn's birthday on occurs May 21st, and it alone is called Tharyília. While they are separate festivals, since they occur almost together, they are often thought of as one festival.


The Purification of the City

In ancient Athens, before the birthday-celebration in honor of Ártæmis, there was the purification of the pólis (polis = city; Gr. πόλις). The pharmakí (pharmakoi; Gr. φαρμακόι), "scapegoats," one man and one woman representing the evil which had developed over the previous year in the pólis, were first symbolically feasted and then driven out. 

This is an ancient Athenian custom and to celebrate it in a modern context is purely a reconstruction. The pharmakí can be represented in various ways, perhaps as images of made of cookies. These "scapegoats" can be thought of as our accumulated faults and vices; they may be symbolically "driven out" by burning on a fire, casting into a stream, or thrown beyond one's property.



Tháryilos

There is a traditional bread made from barley prepared for this festival called the 
Tháryilos (Gr. Θάργηλος). Alternately you can make a sweetened barley porridge. Soak a cup of barley for three hours in three cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for one hour covered. Now add raisins, dates, nuts, and a little honey. Mix and simmer for another quarter hour. When you are ready to eat, you may add a little milk. The Tháryilos is eaten by the participants and some is offered to the Gods.



PLEASE NOTE: Ritual in our tradition is not permitted to be displayed in a public place, such as this website. If you have a sincere desire to learn more, please write: Inquire.HellenicGods@gmail.com.




At the Tharyília, it would be quite appropriate to recite the Homeric hymn to Dílion (Delian; Gr. Δήλιον) Apollohn, as the hymn tells the story of the birth of the God. A printable pdf file of the hymn is available here: 

THE HOMERIC HYMN TO DÍLION (Delian) APÓLLOHN 



Festivals of Apóllohn:  

KÁRNEIA-ΚΑΡΝΕΙΑ

PYANǼPSIA-ΠΥΑΝΕΨΙΑ

THARYÍLIA-ΘΑΡΓHΛΙΑ


GLOSSARY FOR THIS PAGE
NOTE: A list of abbreviations can be found on this page: GLOSSARY HOME.

Ævdomaion - (Ebdomaion; Gr. Ἑβδομαῖον, ΕΒΔΟΜΑΙΟΝÆvdomaion is the monthly (ed. seventh-day) festival of Apóllohn. (L&S p. 466, right column, within the entries beginning ἑβδομᾱγέτης, edited for simplicity.)
 

Ævdomayænís
- (Ebdomagenes; Gr. Ἑβδομᾱγενής, ΕΒΔΟΜΑΓΕΝΗΣ) Ævdomayænís means born on the seventh day [of the month (ed. the month of 
Θαργηλιών)], epith. of Apollo, Plu.2.717e. (L&S p. 466, right column)

Æpivatírion - (Epibaterion; Gr. Ἐπιβᾰτήριον, ΕΠΙΒΑΤΗΡΙΟΝÆpivatírion is a festival honoring the birthday of a God. (L&S p. 624, right column, within the entries beginning with ἐπιβατέον, definition III. of ἐπιβατήριος.)

Dídymi - (Didymoi; Gr. Δίδυμοι, ΔΙΔΥΜΟΙDídymi is Gemini, the ninth month of the Mystery year, and this entire month is under the dominion of Apóllohn.
- Lexicon entryof the twins of the Zodiac.  (L&S p. 422, right column at the very top; see definition III. of δίδυμος, edited for simplicity.)

Gemini - See Dídymi.

Genethlia - See Yænǽthlia.

Pharmakí - (pharmakoi; Gr. φαρμακόι, ΦΑΡΜΑΚΟΙ) The pharmakí were the scapegoats for the purification ceremony performed before commencing the birthday-festival of Artæmis in ancient Athens. These were a man and a woman who were feasted and then cast out of the city. The pharmakí must have represented the evil which had accumulated in the polis during the previous year. The name comes from φάρμακον, which is the word for a healing drug, so it was believed that casting the scapegoats out of the city would heal it of its ills.

Tharyília - (Thargelia; Gr. Θαργήλια, ΘΑΡΓHΛΙΑ) Tharyília is the birthday festival of Apóllohn celebrated on the seventh day of the ancient Attic month of Tharyilióhn, which, in our community, is always observed on May 21, the first day of Gemini, which is under the dominion of the God.

Tharyilióhn - (Thargelion; Gr. Θαργηλιών, ΘΑΡΓΗΛΙΩΝ) Tharyilióhn is the eleventh month of the ancient Attic calendar.

Tháryilos - (thargelos; Gr. Θάργηλος, ΘΑΡΓΗΛΟΣ) Tháryilos was the traditional barley-loaf bread cooked for the birthday festival of Apóllohn.

Yænǽthlia - (genethlia; Gr. γενέθλια, ΓΕΝΕΘΛΙΑYænǽthlia is the word for birthday.



The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia; Gr. Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kosmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara; Gr. κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς).



PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as 

, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.


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