Legends about Bacchus even reached India after the conquest of the East by Alexander the Great. Religious mysteries in honor of the god of wine were famous for their licentiousness and immorality.
The Bacchus celebration has inspired many artists. Titian, Rubens, Caravaggio, Velasquez, Vrubel captured on their canvases the image of the god of winemaking and his noisy festivities.
In one of the myths, Bacchus becomes the husband of Ariadne, who was left by Theseus. But soon the young wife died. Inconsolable Bacchus threw the crown of his beloved high into the sky. There, the immortal gods fixed it - so, according to legend, the constellation Crown of Ariadne appeared.
Bacchus - the god of winemaking
In Roman mythology, Bacchus is the god of wine and winemaking, the patron of the harvest. His wife was the goddess Libera, who helped the growers. Bacchus in Greek mythology is called Dionysus, Bacchus. He is depicted in ancient sculpture, painting in the form of a young man with bunches of grapes in his hands. His scepter is covered with ivy, and his chariot is harnessed by panthers or leopards.
Still very young, Bacchus was appointed the god of winemaking. He took care of his upbringing andthe formation of the satyr Silenus - half-man, half-goat. He was in all travels and wanderings next to the young Dionysus.
The feast in honor of Bacchus in ancient times was accompanied by traditional sacrifice, fun, copious libations.
History of the holiday
Bacchus and Libera were revered by the common people. Numerous events were held in their honor. The feast in honor of Bacchus from ancient times was celebrated on March 16–17. Funny jokes and songs sounded in cities and villages. The peculiarity of the holiday was the adoption of a wonderful drink - grape wine.
Celebratory events were called dionysia, liberalia, vendemialia, bacchanalia. The feast in honor of Bacchus served as the basis for theatrical performances. The entrance of the choirs, dressed in goat skins, attracted many residents. The singers sang praises in honor of Bacchus and Libera. Later, from the dithyrambs, according to legend, the genre of tragedy (this word means "song of the goats") and comedy arose.
How the celebration goes on
According to ancient legend, it was Bacchus, the Roman deity, who taught man to make wine from grapes. It relieved anxiety and worries, removed moral foundations. Therefore, bacchanalia is associated with unbridled, intoxicating ecstasy.
Wine was used during religious rites to unite God and man. Bacchanalia was accompanied by intoxication, unbridled orgies, ritual dances and praise of Bacchus.
Originally bacchanaliapassed secretly. Only women took part in them. Later, men joined them and the festivities began to be held much more often - 5 times a month.
Bacchus's cousin King Pentheus wanted to ban the impious festivities. They were often accompanied by violence and murder. Pentheus was torn to pieces by the distraught Bacchantes. His mother Agave, in a state of intoxication, mistook her son for an animal and led his murder.
In 186, the Senate took drastic measures to eradicate this rampant festival. A wave of links, executions swept through Italy. But the government did not achieve the complete eradication of immoral mysteries.
The myth of the birth of Bacchus
According to the myths of the ancient world, the mother of Bacchus, the earthly woman Semele, was burned in the fire. The newborn was saved by his father - the god Jupiter. Out of great love for Semele, Jupiter took her soul to heaven and made her an immortal goddess.
The hatred of Juno, Jupiter's wife, knew no bounds. To protect himself from her wrath, Jupiter begged Mercury to take Bacchus to the nymphs so that they would take care of the baby.
When the very young Dionysus was appointed the god of wine, he created a large retinue for himself. It included nymphs, satyrs, fauns, men and women who worshiped the deity.
The feast in honor of Bacchus from ancient times was a cheerful and noisy feast. The god of winemaking loved to travel. His retinue traveled with him to different cities and countries, showing how to praise Bacchus. The procession played the pipes, beat the cymbals, treating everyone with wine.
The Feast of Bacchus inthe modern world
The antique holiday in honor of Bacchus has come down to our times. In France, the wine festival gathers large crowds of people who want to take part in the competition. Rolling wine barrels, parades of wine brotherhoods and orders, master classes in winemaking - such events are not complete without a feast in the glory of Bacchus.
In Italy, during the traditional Venetian carnival in honor of Bacchus, a fountain with wine was opened on the square. This event brought joy to the ranks of the townspeople. The fountain worked every evening during all carnival days.
In the Czech Republic, the Bacchus holiday is timed to coincide with the grape harvest. It is accompanied by performances of folklore ensembles, demonstration of crafts. Warm Prague wine is sold on every corner during the celebration.