The calendar? How about a calendar? In the ancient Greek world, each city-state had its own calendar with its own names for months and its own unique festivals. Today, many modern Hellenic polytheism revivalists reconstruct an Athenian calendar simply because it is the one for which we have the most information. However, if you are unused to following a lunar calendar, then there are some things that you need to know. First, all days start at sundown the night before and end at sundown. That means that any dates I give you on the calendar below actually start the evening prior. Second, the dates will not correspond neatly to the solar calendar used today the world over for everyone. When I calculate my dates, the year begins based on the date and time of the first new moon following the summer solstice – that is where my first month begins. For the date, it depends on the time of the arrival of the new moon and the time of sunrise where I live. From there, calculating the beginning of each new month is the same. In some cases, if someone lives where sunrise is even an hour earlier or later, their new month will not start on the same day (evening the night before) as mine.
Will my calendar be of use to you? Maybe not. This calendar does not contain every festival or holy day, only the ones I celebrate (at this time). Nevertheless, I want to give you an example of what a month of holy celebration can look like. In addition to any other time during the month when I might pray to a particular god for any reason, these are times where I say prayers and make offerings for no reason other than honor, respect, and adoration.
April 20, 2016 – Day of Dionysos
April 23 , 2016 – Day of Artemis
April 28, 2016 – Day of Athena
May 6, 2016 – Hekate’s Deipnon
May 7, 2016 – Noumenia
May 8, 2016 – Agathos Daimon Day
May 9, 2016 – Day of Athena
May 10, 2016 – Day of Hermes, Aphrodite, & Hebe
May 12, 2016 – Day of Artemis, Thargelia
May 13, 2016 – Day of Apollon, Thargelia
May 15, 2016 – Day of the Muses, Roman Festival for Mercury (solar calendar)
I used to celebrate two additional days for Athena each month, but I felt odd because She is not the primary deity of my house (and four days was more than any other deity had), and I suspected that we only know of so many days for Her because we know so much more about the Athenian calendar, so I did some divination. The days for Her on this calendar are the two that She most wanted me to keep, at least for now.
I chose the 4th of each lunar month for Hebe because She does not traditionally have a day of Her own (that I know about), and the 4th is sacred to Heracles, Her husband. I don’t currently keep a shrine for Heracles, but it made sense to me to honor His wife on this day.