I get a lot of questions from readers, and most of the time, the answers are fairly short. When I feel the question or the reply would be valuable to others as well, I make a post with a collection of them and post them in one go. Today is one of those posts.

"Are there any sources for Greek holidays? Did they celebrate Sabbats and Equinoxes like other pagans of their time? I've found a few but they're mostly Roman and I'm looking for specifically Greek if that's possible. Thank you in advance."

A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year (around 21 June and 21 December) as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. An equinox occurs twice a year as well (around 20 March and 22 September), when the plane of the Earth's equator passes the center of the Sun. At this time the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun. In essence, during an equinox, the period of time the sun is down (night time) and the sun is up (daytime) is roughly the same. The ancient Hellenes observed these four points in the year, and because of that, the ancient Hellenic calendar is partly solar: the solstices and equinoxes are anchor points for the otherwise lunar calendar.

Depending on the city-state, one of these four points was picked for the start of the new year. Athens and Delphi had the summer solstice, Boeotia had the winter solstice, and Milet started out with the autumnal equinox, but moved the new year to the spring equinox around the end of the 4th century BC. This anchor point was the most important; the rest were used to check the accuracy of the calculations.

Is it reconstructionistic to honor specific Gods on the solstices and equinoxes? That depends on which Gods you honor on the equinoxes and solstices. We know there were festivals celebrated on or around the time of these anchor points:

The Galaxia was closely associated with the Spring/Vernal Equinox.
The Kronia was closely associated with the Summer Solstice.
The Eleusinian Mysteries were celebrated around the autumnal Equinox.
The Poseidea was closely associated with the Winter Solstice.


"You're doing the Eleusinian Mysteries! I want to take part but I am still practicing and I missed a few days, is that bad? I see the first few are about purification, can I spend extra focus on my usual purification and catch up that way? How about the others I missed?"

You can totally still jump in with the Mysteries! You were right, you can conflate the purification rites with your standard practice (maybe focus on it a bit more) and either leave out or do one after the other the other rituals you've missed. May I suggest you don't consider this a practice period? You will never be faulted for mistakes you make unknowingly. What you are doing is honoring the Theoi, and you either honor Them or you don't. There is no "practice" or "in-between". You either do, or you don't, and you do! That's wonderful! Take pride and joy in that.


"What advice do you have for someone who is just getting into Hellenismos and also going to be attending college this fall."

That depends on what you're worried about, I suppose. Will you be lacking privacy? Are there rules that you have to stick to in order to continue living where you will be living, be it a dorm or an off-campus site? Perhaps this will help: a list of what you need to practice and the substitutes allowed anywhere and which you can hide.

An altar to sacrifice at = use your desk or clear a table
A sacrificial bowl (x2, one to sacrifice into, one for khernips) = deep plates or soup bowls
Candles = electric candles or unlit ones
Incense = perfume (keep away from fire!)
Wine = grape juice
A garden to pour out libations / bury sacrifices = a potted plant

That's all you need, really. Usually you can light a match even in a dorm room, so you should be able to make khernips by dropping a match into water. Most likely you won't be able to have a fire burning to burn sacrifices in. Sadly, that's just how it'll have to be until you get out. Practicing without a fire is a reality for many people until they have a home where it's possible to safely and legally practice that way. Some never will, and that's all right too. I hope this helps and good luck at college!