Beginning at sundown on Thursday the 27th of October, 2001, is the Noumenia or first day of the month of Maimakterion, a "violent" month, probably so called because this is the time of year when the seas become dangerous for sailing.
The Pompaia - In ancient Attica, on the tenth of Maimakterion (sundown on the 5th to sundown 6th
of November), the Pompaia was held in
honor of Zeus. Purificatory offscourings
were taken away in solemn procession.
Little seems to be known concerning this festival or the
equally obscure festival Maimakteria. Pompaia is thought to been a
festival dedicated primarily to Zeus but as mention is made of a procession
with a sheepskin considered to have some magical properties and a caduceus, a
staff entwined with snakes, and some parts of Greece this month was referred to
as the Hermaia, it would seem that Hermes also played a role in this
festival. It could be that the two symbols were considered to have the
ability to turn away adverse forces of nature, such as bad weather and the malaise
of short, cold days that arrive with this month. Plutarch
in The Life of Aristides mentions a libation and bull sacrifice to Zeus and
Hermes and those who "have died for the freedom of Hellas" occurring
on the 16th of the Maimakterion and it is possible that it is the same
Note that, as a proto-demos of Hellenion, we also include on our calendar a small libation to Ares
on Saturday, November 12.