Frequently Asked Questions
How can I join the feast? Should I get an outfit? + -
One can join Phallephoria event in the following ways:
- Joining the dancers’ troupe, if he/she is qualified. Please contact us for further info.
- In the main part of the procession that follows the dancers’ troupe. In this case, one should get a mask (rent or buy it) and contact the organizing team for details as well as the outfit he/she will wear.
- In the audience following the procession. Just meet and join us on your way through the alleys of the historical center of Athens! You will surely live an amazing experience, and maybe next year you will wish to participate more actively as a member of our procession!
Where can I buy or rent a mask? + -
First of all visit our site’s page about the masks and find the one suitable for you! All masks are made in a way so to touch on experimental archaeology, all hand made with natural materials, by the famous sculpture Excekias Trivoulides. Should you wish to rent or buy any of the masks, please email us.
Is the event suitable for children? + -
Of course it is. Phallephoria is a feast of joy and rebirth of nature and spring, from which children couldn’t possibly be missing! The event is designed in a way that even the phallic symbols are not getting sexual and provocative dimension, nor sexist references. In contrary, in our feast every year children are increasing, leading the procession and holding baskets with flowers and wreaths that symbolize fertility.
Is Phallephoria a religious feast? + -
Although Phallephoria in antiquity was a joyful feast in honor of god Dionysus, actually, today we do not approach it though a religious point of view. Our vision is to revive this amazing cultural event, which is actually the ancestor of all carnival events, as well as comedy. We wish for Phallephoria to become an open event for everybody that wishes to experience it, no matter his/her religion. We pay attention to its cultural dimension and revive it as the authentic ancestor of today’s carnival events around Greece.
What does the phallus symbolize and why it has a leading role in this event? + -
The phallus brings life as a begetter. Nothing exists by chance, since it lives and evolves through time, from antiquity until today’s folklore events all around Greece… It is worth mentioning that the phallus initially held a preventing and protecting role, since its presence was considered a protection against all maleficent energies. That’s why, the Greeks used to put phalluses outside their houses, in order to protect them.
Moreover, as distinguished linguist M. Kopidakis, in his article “Even before Dionysus”, mentions that “even on their graves the Greeks used to portray phalluses.” The phallus declares the beatitude of the soul after death, it ensures the deceased one’s peace and even envisions a life after death. From all of the above we understand how accustomed our ancestors were with the meaning and symbolisms of the phallus, which was far more different than the sexist meaning we have given it today.
Why does the event take place in the historical center of Athens? + -
Just as before about 1,700 years, the procession of Phallephoria follows the footsteps of our ancestors, in the historic center of Athens, under the shadow of the Acropolis, where the pulse of Greek culture is still beating. The procession starts up outside the theater of Dionysus where the comedies of Aristophanes lived for the first time, and comes to meet the crowds outside the Acropolis museum.
Why does the event take place this particular time of the year? + -
The litany procession of the phallus as a fertility symbol clearly symbolizes eugenics and fruitfulness of nature. These celebrations were a kind of a fertility ritual, with the primal magic religious form as a metaphor for the death of the old through the freezing cold of winter to the welcoming of a new blossoming spring.
Phallephoria remind me a bit of some Greek carnival customs like the feasts in Tyrnavos. What's the relationship between them? + -
Each traditional event carried out in the present territory of Greece these days), derives its roots –in a direct or indirect way- from primordial Greek rituals of the Dionysian phallus ceremonies and songs. There are many such festivals in Greece, and one can observe many similarities between these modern customs and the ancient rituals dedicated to the phallus.