Ritual outline for Anthesteria

Day 1: Pithoigia

Go around your city (ideally at dawn, noon or dusk) and when you feel so moved stop and pour out some wine for the dead. Either before or following the libation, use a hunting horn to call them up from the depths and hail Dionysos Opener of the Door. Then move on until you find the next spot, and repeat.

While out on your dérive see how many kinds of wild flower you can collect. If you’re one of those unfortunates who lives in regions that are still buried under two feet of snow during Anthesteria it’s okay to stop by a florist, but only then. Also collect branches, ivy, and other greenery as you are able.

When you return home cover all of your shrines which may be sensitive to pollution with white linen cloths or sheets. Do not remove their veils until the Keres have been expelled on Chutroi. Note that shrines to Dionysos, his Retinue, Hermes, Ariadne, Erigone and Arachne are exempt from this. Other Chthonic Gods and Spirits may go either way, so it’s best to confirm with divination.  

Either set up a special festival shrine to Dionysos or use the flowers and greenery you gathered to decorate his permanent shrine. Offer him a bowl of wine and properly welcome him and his Host to your city. Sing. Dance. Silently commune with your God. And drink lots and lots of wine.

Day 2: Choes

Early in the day share the somber, silent cup with Orestes.

Pour out libations of milk, wine, honey, and oil to the dead of Deukalion and those currently wandering your city’s streets.

Spend time with your own dead.

Reflect upon the tragic story of Erigone, and around dusk go to a nearby park and hang masks and dolls then swing in a swing for her.

What you do when you return home depends on the role you perform for the God.

If you have taken on the mantle of Sacred Queen prepare to meet him in the Ox-shed. If that is your role then certainly you don’t need me to tell you how it is done beyond this point.

And for the rest, make offerings to Dionysos and the one he consummates a marriage with (be it Ariadne, Erigone, Karya, Althaía or whoever the local wife of the King is) to bring renewal and fertility to the land.

Drink lots of wine, have lots of sex and appreciate the beauty of the flowers.

Day 3: Chutroi

Make the panspermia and give it to Hermes and the dead along with other appropriate offerings.

Say your goodbyes to the dead, especially those of your family line, then sweep the Keres out of your house, paint the lintel with pitch, scatter beans across your doorstep and end by saying:

Thuraze Kêres, ouket’ Anthestêria!

Depart these doors, Keres; it’s no longer Anthesteria!

Take down the festive shrine and dispose of the offerings appropriately, then proceed to thoroughly cleanse your home and remove the veils on the rest of the shrines. You may also wait to do this step until the following day.