In short

Proerosia is what must be done “before plowing”. The festival of first fruits took place in May, when the “first fruits of the grain” were harvested. According to HW Parke, offerings to Demeter were made to invoke his blessing on the plowing and sowing to come.


Proerosia, the offering to Demeter before the labors

It is Demeter, after all, "the greatest help and cause of joy to immortal gods and mortal men" (Homeric Hymn 2, to Demeter, lines 268-269), who, according to the author of the Hymn , “brought forth fruit from the rich lands, so that all the vast earth was laden with leaves and flowers” (lines 471-473).

The festival took place at Eleusis, site of the Great Mysteries and setting for much of the Homeric hymn to Demeter. The explanation of the rite was that a plague had afflicted the whole Greece, and the oracle at Delphi said that Apollo ordered a tithe to Demeter of the first harvest on behalf of all the Greeks.

Thereafter, with the exception of disruptions during the Peloponnesian War, offerings arrived annually from all over the Greek world for the blessings of the goddesses before plowing and sowing, although apparently the inhabitants of the Attica did not participate to a large extent (Parke 73).

On the other hand, a special and very popular festival of Apollo (Pyanepsia) took place a day or two after Proerosia and, among other things, it featured an offering of a mixture of boiled beans – doubtless part of the harvest, although it has a myth of origin outside of the Hymn to Demeter.

At Eleusis on this day, a sacrifice was made to Pythian Apollo, which is interpreted by modern scholars as a show of gratitude to the Oracle of Delphi for the founding of Proerosia.

Helene P. Foley, in her feature article on the Eleusinian mysteries in her edition of The Homeric Hymn to Demeter, states that "all the important rites of Demeter in Attica appear to have been linked (at least loosely) to the stages of the agricultural year. Additionally, these festivals appear to have a connection with part of the Homeric hymn, especially since Eleusis, which was incorporated into Attica, was the site of much of the hymn's narrative .

Ainsi, Proerosia fait partie du cycle sacré des fêtes du grain dans la Grèce antique, avec Thesmophoria (également en octobre), Haloa (décembre), les Petits Mystères (février), Thargelia (mai), Skirophoria (juin) et les Mystères éleusiniens.

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On this day the peoples greek celebrated Proerosia. Offerings from the Greeks were brought to Eleusis in order to have Demeter's blessing on the Autumn crops and seeds. #mythology #myth #legend #calendar #6pyanepsion #proeprosia #eleusis