5 Boedromion (31 August ’14)
An Athenian state festival honoring the dead and Gaia; as I don’t work with Gaia, I focus on my Beloved Dead. There is almost nothing out there about how this festival was marked, aside from the “regular” offerings made to the dead. It may have included funeral games. It likely originated as a private family observance, marked on different days by different families, and was probably made into a state festival by Solon, possibly as part of an attempt to curtail ostentatious public grieving done by wealthy families. It is sometimes conflated with Nemesia. The most useful source I’ve found was ΓΕΝΕΣΙΑ. A Forgotten Festival of the Dead by F. Jacoby, a journal article available on JSTOR.
A festival of my own creation, inspired by an event in the life of my Great-Great Aunt Senta; her passion was ballet, and on 18 February 1931, she performed in the opening night of “The Gang’s All Here” in NYC. Opening Night is not a festival for the Dead so much as a reminder from them- life is short, embrace your passions. Do what makes you happy and fulfilled. I honor my Aunt Senta, my Patrons, and my work.
17-18 Akhet 1 (20-21 August ’14*)
A Kemetic festival for Wesir and the dead; as I don’t work with Wesir, I focus on my Beloved Dead. On Wagy Eve, there would be a procession of lights, and on the day proper there would be offerings of white bread, beer, barley, cake, beef, model boats, water, wine, and flowers. You can find more information in Kiya’s post, as well as reshafim.org.il, which has lots of other interesting bits about ancient Egypt, and senytmenu.org, which is run by a HON cleric.
* Kemetic dates are specific to my location, as the start of the year is determined by the sighting of Sopdet/Sirius.