Athenian festival in honor of Dionysus, held during the month of Anthesterion (Feb.–Mar.) to celebrate the beginning of spring and the maturing of the wine stored at the previous vintage. It lasted three days and included libations to the god from newly opened casks, popular merrymaking, a secret ceremony of marriage between Dionysus and the wife of the king, and underworld rites.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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