Labrys, a Hellenic Polytheistic group located in Greece, recently performed the Phallephoria, the carrying of a phallus in procession in honor of Dionysus through the streets of Athens for the first time after almost two thousand years.

The video is completely in Greek, but well worth the watch even if you don't understand a word of it. Seeing people celebrate the Gods is always beautiful to behold, and everyone was lavishly dressed up for the occassion. Fair warning, the video is not entirely suitable for work, as there are many reprisentations of penises to be found in it--as it should be for the Phallephoria.

The phallephoria was a procession undertaken usually as part of the Dionysia. It was a celebration of freedom, solidarity, and rebellion and was one of the only public assembly's that everyone could attend--women, children, slaves and métoikos included. Men carried huge phalloi through the streets and into the theater and directed ridicule and abuse at the honorands. As with many Dionysian rituals, the phallephoria showed two sides of the theater world: the tragedies that depicted the disasters that befell the heroes of ancient Hellas, and the comedies where these heroes were ridiculed.

According to tradition, the City Dionysia was established after Eleutherae, a town on the border between Attica and Boeotia, had chosen to become part of Attica. The Eleuthereans brought a statue of Dionysos to Athens, which was initially rejected by the Athenians. Dionysus then punished the Athenians with a plague affecting the male genitalia, which was cured when the Athenians accepted the cult of Dionysus. This was recalled each year by a procession of citizens carrying phalloi, and the practice has now been brought back to life.

The Labrys Religious Community aims to preserve, promote and practice the Hellenic polytheistic religious tradition through public rituals, lectures, publications, theatrical and musical events, and other forms of action. Their vision is to restore the Hellenic religious tradition and by extension the Hellenic Kosmotheasis and lifestyle to its rightful place, as a respected, acknowledged and fully functional spiritual path.

For more rituals captured on video, visit the group's website. The City Dionysia will take place from March 11 to March 19 this year.