6th of May And Ancient Artemis Ephesia Festival

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6th of May is considered the birthday of the Ephesian goddess Artemis, and festivals were held in her name. The festival for Artemis during the month of May was, in mass, the largest and most important tourism movement in the ancient world.

Goddess Artemis, also known as ''the lady of Ephesus, Statue in Ephesus Archeological Museum
Goddess Artemis, also known as ”the lady of Ephesus, Statue in Ephesus Archeological Museum

The representatives of the Roman and Greek city-states used to attend this festival with the best gifts that they could find and chose for Artemis. This festival was also a pilgrimage for those who believed in the Artemis Cult and later named Diana Cult. Thousands of pilgrims who came for both entertainment and worship contributed to the economy of Ephesus in a way we could not imagine.

Thousands of oxen, sheep and various animals were sacrificed in the name of the goddess Artemis \ Diana, accompanied by prayers on the altar of the temple. Incense and animal fat were traditionally burned during this time. These ceremonies, which were accompanied by a great feast, would come to an end with the shouts and prayers of visitors from all over. On the way back to their homes, they bought the gold and silver statues of the goddess from the stalls in the Ephesus Agora and take them to their homes. These were the most sought-after gifts. Ephesus Goldsmiths Guild would earn a lot of money from this business. These statues are mentioned in the Bible in the Riot of the Ephesian Silver Smiths.

The Artemis Statue, which is in the Ephesus Museum today, in the Temple of Artemis nearby Ephesus was wrapped in golden leaves and bathed in the waters of the Aegean Sea. The statue was brought back to the Temple of Artemis by going around the Panayır Mountain and passing through Ephesus, accompanied by priests and believers.

Hasan Gülday

Hasan Gülday. Professional licensed tour guide working in Turkey.

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