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Customs in Ancient Greece
Associated with September

Customs in Ancient Greece Associated with September

Date
24 September 2021

Did you know?! September was known as "Voidromion" in Ancient Greece and it was actually the 3rd month in the Attic calendar! It corresponded to the period August 23 - September 22. The Ancients had many customs and traditions associated with this month, many of which still survive today.

Image after introtext
Thesmophoria, the ancient Greek custom. Credit: Francis Davis Millet [Public domain]

One of the customs was the hanging of pomegranate fruits and branches in various places of the house. The breaking of pomegranate was considered a source of luck and happiness to all members of the family. This custom still survives in Greece today. But in ancient times, it had a second symbolism: it could also keep the Grim reaper away! The Grim Reaper, or Charos, or Death, would write in his notebook who would die next. Smashing a pomegranate at your front door would keep the Reaper away!

Another custom in Ancient Greece connected to September was the sprinkling of water in houses, crops and animals, which the mother of the family took from the well before the sun rises. People also drank from this water, believing that they would be healthy and would be saved from Charos! For this reason, in some areas, this water was called "the immortal water".

The harvest of the vines gave the month of September the nickname “Harvester”. Many festivals in antiquity during this month were in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine, It was also a month dedicated to Persephone and her mother Demeter, the Goddesses responsible for the changing of seasons which come and go depending on the mood of the Mother who lost her daughter to the Underworld after she was kidnapped by the god Hades. This myth gave birth to the Eleusinian Mysteries, the most secretive religious rites in Ancient Greece. The Mysteries began on the 15th and lasted for 9 days.

Waiting on the first rains,
wishing the summer goodbye,
September is here,
with festivities and wine!

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