Hyakinthia and Helioguennia

So today I celebrate the second day of Hyakinthia. This is the first day of the real festivities. Yesterday was fairly solemn with an offering into an improvised “tomb” for Hyakinthos (will post pictures later when the festival is finished tommorow). Traditionally this is a nine day festival with the first three days reserved for Hyakinthos, though some sources say that it was only nine days with the first day for Hyakinthos. I gravitate towards the former being more accurate, but the dilemma comes in that doing a really involved nine day festival all by lonesome with a child accompanying is rather difficult. So for the sake of necessity I do the festival in three days. The first day is the mourning for Hyakinthos. This is not the extreme mourning that was done by women for Adonis. It is simply very solmen. There is no festivities. A quiet meal is eaten, no bread, and offerings are presented into the tomb of the hero.

On this the second day it is the celebration of the “resurrection” of the hero, or rather the deification of the hero to a god. Thus the tomb of Hyakinthos is also one together with the throne of Apollon. The soul is freed from its mortal bonds. Now here is how it fits beautifully with Helioguennia. In my book I put approx June 21 for the festival, but that is meaning that this is the midpoint of the festival rather than the beginning. In any case it is at this point that the festival is actually directed towards Apollon whereas the first day is all about the hero.

As we know from myth, Apollon with his disc (ie the sun) accidentally struck Hyakinthos, and the paian was believed to have been part of his attempts to bring back the youth and save him from mortal death. For this reason the paian is particularly important during this festival, most especially on this day as far as I see it. Heliguennia on the other hand marks the longest day of the year, when the light of the sun is utterly victorious over the night. Thus we celebrate Helios Eleutherios, Helios the god who is freeing, for the sun it at the very pinnacle of its strength today. It is also the first day of summer and marks in and of itself an important seasonal transition. Soon the flowers of late spring shall wither away beneath the hot blasts of the sun. So we say goodbye the innocent season of youth, and greet the royal summer. Therefore at the same time we are saying goodbye to the mortal youth, who was so loved by the wind of spring, and is now in the adulthood of divinity. Heliogennia merely marked the beginning of this beautiful day as I celebrated with a ritual at sunrise.

Khaire Apollon! Khaire Helios! Khaire Hyakinthos the risen!


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