I'm just going to come out and say it: I do not, and will not, celebrate modern festivals within Hellenismos, no matter how 'historically correct' they are in their execution. You're still turning an event which was completely secular for the ancient Hellens--if they observed it at all--into a religious event, and that does not work for me in the spirit of a Reconstruction religion.

I understand that the ancient Hellens invented new festivals all the time, I understand things change, but there is a certain rigidity implied in the practice of reconstructing that one should not overlook; especially if that practice causes a cross-over between modern--conglomerated--Traditions.

An example: the Heliogenna. It's a modern festival created by Hector Lugo as a sort of Yule-for-Hellenists. It was intended to be a nine day celebration in three parts of equal days: on days one to three--which are called 'Sunset' (ηλιοβασίλεμα - iliovasilema)--the heavenly Theoi are honored, most notably Helios (who mourns the death of His son), Selene and Eos. On days four to six (with day five being the Winter Solstice)--which are called 'Night' (νύχτα - nichta)--no Theoi are honored, but They are all remembered in their darker epithets. The focus is on Helios, Hekate, Hades, Persephone and Hermes, and silence is a large part of these days. The last three days--called 'Sunrise' (ανατολή - anatoly)--are a huge celebration; Helios has risen anew after His 'journey to the Underworld'.

This is the short version. Please see here, here, here, and here for better sources. I'm going to say this as respectfully as I can, but just the thought of celebrating the Heliogenna makes me a little nauseous, and angry.  For one, it's not a reconstructive celebration. I have nothing against finding modern interpretations for ancient festivals; after all, we all practice with a lot of limitations these days, and there is reason to believe the ancient Hellens celebrated something on the Winter Solstice; most ancient cultures did. Yet, what--exactly--they celebrated is unknown, and I'm pretty sure this was not it.

I haven't celebrated the Heliogenna, but from what I have read about it, it's a bit of a mixture between the Kemetic God Ra's nightly journey into the Duat to replenish Himself for the day to come, the Celtic Yule log practice and Hellenic mythology, connected with a splash of--Horned God--Wiccan glue. It doesn't work for me, for various reasons. I'm going to try listing them all, but I know I won't be able to. This is a 'heart' post, not a 'head' post, and that usually means I haven't figured it all out yet.

Alright, for one, the Heliogenna seems to celebrate the death and rebirth of a Deathless God. Pause on that a second. Secondly, it has an Ouranic deity traveling into the Underworld. Even if we leave miasma out of it, there are still a good few ancient sources that are against this notion. Hómēros for one:

"At the entrance to the Underworld, Odysseus and his crew beached their ship on a mist covered shore where the radiant Helios never sheds his light."

In a broader sense, I also question if adding modern festivals is not hubris? Not only do we bend the ways of the ancient Hellens--and their mythology--but we do it from the viewpoint of modern worship. From a hard polytheistic viewpoint, slapping the persona of the Wiccan Horned God onto Helios and calling it Hellenistic is pretty ballsy. To be fair, I am probably associating Helios with the Horned God within the confinds of this festival because of my own previous practice, but you have to admit there are some similarities.

I know I'm being mean and petty about this, but if I wanted a practice where I could conglomerate my practice from a variety of sources and feel perfectly alright about it--and rightfully so--I would have stayed an Eclectic Religious Witch. That was not my intention, however, and so the celebration of these modern festivals is not for me. It may be for you, I don't know. If they are, please, enjoy the heck out of them.

I'm struggling with how Recon my Recon practice should be. I want to keep it as Recon as possible, but I can see that the religion may become--or stay--too static if we don't adapt Hellenismos to modern practice. I may start agreeing with that--and the Heliogenna--in the years to come, but right now, I'm resisting. I'm staying Recon as much as I possibly can, and in that spirit, I also resist the Heliogenna.