Food and Festivals

Keely and Ryan

Greece is a little country that is a peninsula on the Mediterranean Sea, it is located right next to Albania, Macedonia, and Bulgaria. The capital of this country is Athens which is located almost on the water near the end of the peninsula. It is very interesting how things work in Greece and what types of food they eat and types of festivals they celebrate.
external image ancient-greece-map.jpg
This is a map of Ancient Greece. All of the names of places are in Greek.
Below is an example of a typical Greek beach.

Myrtos Beach Greece
Myrtos Beach Greece

Typical Foods


The Greeks had a very healthy diet that consisted of many great foods including grains, wheat, barley, fruit, vegetables, breads, cakes and many types of fish. Their diet was in a way similar to Mesopotamians. In ancient Greece water was scarce and the women of the household cooked and
prepared meals. If you lived in a wealthy family your typical food options would be wine, goats milk, veal, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, bread, cheese, pomegranate, dried dates, fresh dates, figs, ham, squid, olives, grapes, shell fish, herbs, water, and apples. The Greeks had cows but they did not drink or use their milk because it was to rich for their stomachs. When you were drinking wine you would have to water it down or you were considered barbaric. If you were poor you would eat what ever you could grow or afford. Fish was the main source of protein for the less wealthy Greeks. If you lived on a farm, you would kill some of your livestock for meat and then grow barley and wheat to make bread and bake other goods. In the summer months you would have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables but in the winter you had to eat dried fruits like apples and lentils or other fruits or vegetables you had frozen because you couldn't grow them in those months. The soil near the ocean was not as rich as the soil on the plains so the Greeks used irrigation systems and used the method of crop rotation to keep the soil as fertile as possible. In towns, you would buy meat from a butcher's shop or a market stall. You could also buy fish from the town fishmonger, or go down to the harbour to buy fresh fish from the fishermen as they landed their catch. In most towns, if you were rich you could buy "take out" foods from the cooked meat shops and stalls.

Entertaining and Meal Time

A typical Greek family would have three meals a day. The first meal would be at sunrise which was bread dipped in wine. The second meal would be around mid day and was bread dipped in wine
Bread dipped in wine
Bread dipped in wine
along with olives, figs, cheese or dried fish. The last meal of the day would be before sunset which consisted of vegetables, fruit, fish and sometimes honey cakes. Greeks did not know about sugar so honey was their main sweetener.

Below is a video that is all about Greek culture (ancient and modern) which takes place in the capital, Athens.

Greek Celebrations and Festival Chart

Month (In Greek)
Celebrations/ Festivals
-Summer Month

  • Genesia — 5th
  • Kharisteria — 6th
  • Boedromia — 7th
  • Great Mysteries of Eleusis — 15th-21st
    • Preparatory — 13th-14th
    • Agyrmos (Gathering) — 15th
    • "Seaward, Initiates" — 16th
    • "Hither the Victims" — 17th
    • Epidauria — 18th
    • March to Eleusis — 19th
    • Initiation — 20th
    • Plemokhoai — 21st
- Autumn Month

  • Proerosia — 5th
  • Pyanepsia — 7th
  • Oskhophoria — 7th
  • Theseia — 8th
  • Stenia — 9th
  • Thesmophoria — 11th-13th
    • Anodos (Ascent) — 11th
    • Nesteia (Fast) — 12th
    • Kalligeneia (Fair Offspring) — 13th
  • Apatyria — three or four consecutive days in Pyanepsion (determined by each phratry )
    • Dorpia (Supper Eve)
    • Anarrhysis (Sacrificing)
    • Koureotis (Youths)
    • Epibda (Day Following)
  • Khalkeia — 29th
- Autumn Month

  • Maimakteria
  • Pompaia
- Autumn Month

  • Poseidea — 8th
  • Country Dionysia — sometime during the period 15th-29th (determined by each farm)
  • Haloa — 26th
- Winter Month

  • Lenaia — 12th-15th
  • Gamelia — 26th
- Winter Month

  • Lesser Mysteries of Eleusis — early Anthesterion
  • Anthesteria — 11th-13th
    • Pithoigia (Jar-Opening) — 11th
    • Khoes (Pitcher Feast) — 12th
    • Khytroi (Pot Feasts) — 13th
  • Diasia — 23rd
- Winter Month

  • Elaphebolia — 6th
  • City Dionysia — 9th-13th
- Spring Month

  • Mounykhia — 16th
- Spring Month

  • Thargelia — 7th
  • Kallynteria — 22nd
  • Plynteria — 25th
- Spring Month

  • Arrephoria — 5th
  • Skirophoria — 12th
- Summer Month

  • Aphrodisia — 4th
  • Kronia — 12th
  • Panathenaia — 28th
- Summer Month

  • Metageitnia — 7th

Festivals and Celebrations

Greek Festival For the Gods
Greek Festival For the Gods
The Greeks loved to celebrate and had festivals for almost every occasion. Usually at a festival they would sacrifice animals (sheep or pig) to please the
**Greek gods and goddesses**. Sometimes a festival could last several days and usually involved farming. A very special festival that all inhabitants of Athens took place in was the festival of Panathenaea. At Panathenaea people sang and
Greek Celebration
Greek Celebration
marched through the city. Later on in about 566 BC they started to have the Panathenaic Games, a version of the Olympics. If you won in the Panathenaic games you were given vases full of the finest olive oil, because the goddess Athena had given man the olive tree. The festival continued every year and even a version of it was given to the Romans. The Greeks had so many festivals because they had no weekend holidays.

The Olympics

Another Greek celebration is the Olympics. The Olympics is a competition between many countries with many different sports. The summer Olympics started out in ancient Greece in 1896 and has been every four years since then except for when the world wars were on. The winter Olympic Games w
Greek Olympic Games
Greek Olympic Games
ere a special edition of the summer Olympics and that started in 1924. Originally both summer and winter Olympics were in the same year but then they split them up by two years so there was either a summer or winter Olympics every two years. The original Olympics were an athletic and religious celebration held in a town called Olympia which originated as early as 776 BC to 393 AD. The most recent olympics in Greece is was the 2004 summer Olympics which took place in Athens Greece. The Olym
pics now are not only in Greece but they are all over the world and many different sports have been added into both the summer and the winter Olympics.


- Clare D. John "Living History-Ancient Greece" ©1996 The Bodley Head Children's Books

- Crystalinks
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- Geocities
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- Library Think Quest
- Rees, Rosemary " The Ancient Greeks" ©1997 Reed Educational & Professional Publishing
- Salariya, David " How would you survive as an Ancient Greek" ©1998 The Salariya Book Co Ltd
- Wikipedia

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