Thank you Segomâros Widugeni for coining the term Îuos Toutâs and allowing me to use it.
Îuos Toutâs is a new festival mini-season designed to be in line with various harvest festivals, but not to be restricted as a mere harvest festival itself. While it’s not a 1:1 comparison, we would direct the reader to Saturnalia; a festival which has other festivals taking place inside of it’s time.
The holidays that the we will draw from are Lughnasadh, Herakleia, and the Gymnopeadia. We understand that the idea with Senobessus Bolgon is to combine and extrapolate the in between for the Celtic and Germanic, but the lack of writing of a harvest festival during the times of previously stated attested holidays present a problem; we can’t bridge that gap in the summer season yet.
However, this innovated festival filled mini-season within the season will provide three holidays that we can present. To begin, we will give very brief overviews of the attested holidays and note their key features.
Lughnasadh is traditionally a Gael festival marking the start of the harvest season. It is named after the Gael god ‘Lugh’, a cognate to the character Llew Llaw Gyffes in the Welsh ‘Mabinogi’, and the theonym Lugus found in Celtiberia and arguably in other parts of the Continent. This holiday may have connections to a Roman festival on August 1stin honor of Augustus, celebrated in Lugudunon, which in turn may have been originally celebrated in honor of Lugus.
During this festival, a set of funeral games were commemorated in the name of Lugh’s foster mother; Tailtiu. It’s speculated that Tailtiu is/was a goddess connected with the dying vegetation that fed mankind. The funeral games consisted of ritual athletic contests and other events. During this time, Lugh is said to have fought a giant or god by the name of Crom Dubh to win back the harvest for the people. Tribal assemblies happened during this festival. The first fruits were offered to the god, as well as a bull.
This holiday commemorates the death (and arguably apotheosis) of Herakles. This event took place between late July and early August, which puts in line with Lughnasadh. It involved many athletic and musical contests as well as sacrifices, such as a an offering of a bull. The bull was to be lifted onto the altar, which represented a feat of strength itself. The priests of this festival consisted of young men who were not full Athenian citizens. In general, His cult was connected to youth by way of his marriage to Hebe, a goddess connected to youth. Twelve men were selected to act as feast companions of Herakles during this time.
Taking place in July and last up to ten days, this festival was celebrated in honor of Artemis, Apollo and their mother Leto. The celebration included gymnastic contests including a game akin to dodgeball but also boxing. This event included the entire society. Various dances were conducted by both men and women. There were many reasons for the dances, such as encouraging socialization but also to display physicality, possibly to scout for potential marriage partners. The Gymnopaedia was held also to recognize the Spartan’s defeat by Argos, in order to appease the gods and prevent future defeat. The word Gymnos implies nudity was involved in the festival. Overall, it was festival that displayed athletic and martial skills of the participants.
Now that we have very briefly examined these attested holidays, we can now innovate three holidays that take place during this over-arching festival.
The holidays of Îuos Toutâs
This holiday draws from Lughnasadh’s celebration of Tailtiu, Lugh’s foster mother. Here, the festival is dedicated to those who have fostered, taught and cared for those not biologically related to them. Veneration to gods connected to vegetation and harvests are given. During this time, laws can be made and are set for the confederation of peoples.
Gregorian Calendar: July 2nd-3rd
Alternative starting date: A potential time to start this would also be when spring wheat is harvested, the date is varied but typically takes place mid-July to mid-August.
Îuos Borui Arduinnasc/Îuos Grannui Sironasc
The festival here asks either Borvo and Arduinna or Grannos and Sirona to perform as siblings. During this festival, siblings, fostered or biological, are asked to be blessed by the gods. The attested couples are Borvo and Grannos coupled with Sirona. Due to Senobessus Bolgon’s contemporary interpretatio of Arduinna to Diana and therefore Artemis, we feel that it may be an appropriate holiday for Her as well.
This holiday honors the gods associated with the sun/light, stars/moon and youth. The implication of nudity is ixnayed from the Gymnopaedia. Games, martial competitions and dances for various age groups would be enacted to display physicality and athletic prowess.
Gregorian Calendar: July 16th-18th
This last festival is dedicated to Magusenos/Magusanus. During this time, we continue to honor Him with athletic contests, music, and dance. Soldiers and fighters give thanks to Magusenos/Magusanus for protection and favor during service and matches. Wrestling and boxing/kickboxing matches are prominent here as well as strongman esque events. Beef is an appropriate offering to Him.
Gregorian Calendar: August 1st-3rd
1. Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia P. 1202
2. The Festival of Lughnasa by Máire MaaNeill P. 416
3. The Festival of Lughnasa by Máire MaaNeill P. 426
4.Le Dictionnaire des Antiquités Grecques et Romaines de Daremberg et Saglio (Hercules) P. 78
5. Festivals of the Athenians by H.W. Parke
6. Festivals of the Athenians by H.W. Parke
7.A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities by John Murray
8.Cults of Apollo at Sparta: the Hyakinthia, the Gymnopaidiai and the Karneia by Michael Pettersson
9.How did the rites of passage in Sparta contribute to their representation as a “military society” by Natalie Dent
10.Life of Agesilausby Plutarch 29