"I have a few questions, which I hope you'll answer with your expertise. Firstly, how and when should we conduct ritual for the heroes? What should we include in prayer to them? Are there any days sacred to the heroes? Can I do hero worship on my main altar?"
Heroes and heroines have a special place in Hellenismos, as they had in ancient Hellas. These were humans--most with at least a part divine heritage--who were considered so brave, so skillful, so extraordinary in their lifetime that they became revered. Some were priests or priestesses of a temple, some excelled in battle, others were skilled healers or good rulers. Once they passed to the realm of Hades, their names were remembered at least once a year on a special occasion, because the ancient Hellenes believed that if the name and deeds of a person were remembered, they would live forever and potentially look out for those they had looked out for before. Although linked, hero worship in ancient Hellas was not the same as ancestral worship; heroes and heroines transcended family bonds--although being related to a hero was most certainly something to boast about.
Archaeological evidence suggests that hero worship was closer to Khthonic sacrifices in execution than Ouranic ones the further back in time you go; especially in the archaic period, it seems that hero worship consisted of destructive sacrifices--sometimes in the form of a holókaustos where the entire animal was burned, sometimes in a sacrifice where only a part (most often 'a ninth' of the animal) was burned and the rest remained on the altar for the heroes to eat from until gone. The sacrifices were generally burned in an offering pit known as a bothros. The food offered to heroes consisted of meat, blood, and 'food eaten by men' like grains, fruits and other every-day dishes. These were usually offered to the heroes on a table--known as a trapeza--and the heroes were sometimes offered chairs or a bench to sit on. As time went on, the living began to eat part of the meal laid out for the heroes, joining them in celebration.
Several heroes were worshipped quit regularly. You can check my festival calendar for them. Heroes like Herakles and Theseus had various festivals throughout the year, for example. The ancient Erchians offered a white sheep to the heroines twice a year, once on the 19th of Metageitnion, and once on the 14th of Pyanepsion. In fact, the Erchians sacrificed to heroes a lot.
"I got ill on the Asklepieia, can this mean anything? Could it be a bad omen or a sign from the gods?"
You know, we're human. We get sick, especially at this time of year. I am a huge proponent of keeping your eyes open for signs of the Gods, but I also think that the Gods very rarely intervene directly with the lives of individuals--and if They were angry with you, you would know without a doubt. So don't worry too much and just focus on living a pious life. If there is something the Theoi want you to know, you'll know it soon enough. I hope you feel better!
"I'm still not sure when the proerosia is celebrated? On the fifth or the sixth? :o from your blog: "Many modern sources date the festival on the fifth of Pyanpesion, but new research shows that, because of the placement of the Pyanepsia festival, in honor of Apollon and Theseus, the Proerosia could only have been celebrated in the daylight hours of the fifth." You say fifth two times, so is it on the fifth? I don't mean to be annoying I'm just kinda confused :o "
*Cough* that would be a typo. It’s supposed to read ‘daylight hours of the sixth’ *goes through the blog in a hurry to fix it* Thanks for the heads up!
And because I couldn't withhold this gem from you all:
"A Greek man walks into a tailor’s shop holding a pair of trousers. The tailor takes the pants and holds them up, turning to the man and he says “Euripides?”
“Yes,” the man responded, “Eumenides?”"