Yesterday--at dusk--the Lênaia (Λήναια) festival started. It's dedicated to Dionysos Lênaios (Ληναιος, of the wine press), and is almost undoubtedly a fertility festival, which was celebrated to encourage the earth to thaw and soften, and become ready for sowing. This three-day festival honors Dionysos and has a multitude of links to the Lesser Dionysia. In fact, it's been described as an urban version of the Lesser Dionysia, but without the grander of the greater Dionysia. I have written about the festival before, and those looking to celebrate might want to read up on the history of it.

The Lênaia starts at the twelfth and ends either on the fourteenth or fifteenth of the month. Personally, I feel it ends at dusk on the fifteenth, as that would make up the full three days attested to (from dusk on the twelfth, to dusk on the fifteenth). It can be celebrated with wine, by seeing a show or movie, and by spending some time in bed with your lover--in fact, it's much like the Haloa festival in this regard. It's a festival mostly aimed at having a good time, and enjoying the good things in life, despite the cold outside. Offer wine to Dionysos, and dance for Him, if you feel so inclined. I'm pretty sure He would appreciate it. As a personal note, dancing for Dionysos is always my favourite part of my celebration, and I look forward to dancing for Him on Thursday night.