Anthesteria is a three-day festival also held around February 19 – February 21 dedicated to Dionysos and ancestral deities.
The first day of the festival on February 19 was known as the Pithoigia, the day on which the first jars (pithoi) of the new wine are opened, and libations are offered to Dionysos.
The second day of the festival on February 19 is known as the Choës, the second day of the festival of Anthesteria. The day is named for individual wine jugs – and some of those that have been discovered could hold well over a litre of wine! The day’s celebrations include dressing up and visiting friends, conversation, storytelling, music, dancing, and drinking contests.
Some scholars believe this day commemorates the anniversary of the wedding of Ariadne to Dionysus. In ancient Athens, the Basilinna, ceremonial Queen and wife of the Archon Basileus, ceremonial King and Magistrate of religious rites, became the mystic bride of Dionysus in a secret and sacred ceremony held at night in the temple dedicated to Dionysus outside the city walls in the marshes of the Ilissos river.
The last day of the festival of Anthesteria is the Chytroi. Sacrifice to the dead is to be given, and the holiday falls in line with Feralia.
HonorTheGods. “Pithoigia.” Honor the Gods. October 06, 2016. Accessed December 05, 2017. http://honorthegods.tumblr.com/post/156973225880/a-chous-miniature-wine-jug-depicting-a-girl-and#notes.
HonorTheGods. “Choës.” Honor the Gods. October 06, 2016. Accessed December 05, 2017. http://honorthegods.tumblr.com/post/157020823811/dionysos-the-god-of-wine-and-ariadne-among#notes.
HonorTheGods. “Chytroi.” Honor the Gods. October 06, 2016. Accessed December 05, 2017. http://honorthegods.tumblr.com/post/76549003770/today-is-chytroi-he-last-day-of-the-festival-of#notes.