Summer Solstice Celebrated by Ancient Religions



Summer SolsticeAccording to an article posted on the BBC, there are still many Greeks who follow Pre-Christian gods. For those, June 21, is considered as a very unique day.

Many of them participate in the Prometheia festival, an event which honors Greek Titan Prometheus, who is credited with the creation of man from clay and the theft of fire for human use, an act that enabled progress and civilization.

People who worship the ancient Greek gods believe that Greece is under Christian occupation. The festival begins with six runners running the six miles (10 km) up to Mount Olympus.

According to BBC, in 2007, an official of the Orthodox Church described them as, “a handful of miserable resuscitators of a degenerate dead religion.” But as Tryphon Olympios said, today the relationship between the church and their followers is much more peaceful. Olympios is a philosophy professor and founder of the Return of the Hellenes movement.

“They have understood that we are not dangerous and we are not pagans and Satanists,” he said. “We are peaceful people and come with ideas that are useful for society.”

But let’s talk about the history a little. How did ancient Greeks celebrated this special day?

According to ancient Greeks, Tammuz becomes Adonis (Lord). This is a time that is also sacred to all high priestesses and hiereias (female guardians of temples and communities). It is also the sacred time of Athena (Goddess of wisdom). For the Greeks, the New Year began on the first new moon after the summer solstice. It was celebrated by a festival to Athena so that rain would come to the crops. A procession was held in which food offerings and new cloths were brought to Her statue. The statue was cleaned and then dressed in this new finery. Midsummer was also the time to honor Prometheus (Sun Wheel) for stealing fire from the Gods and bringing it to His creation – mankind.