Apollonian Games - The Sun comes out to play
Every second year in height of summer the priests of Apollo will hold a festival to honor Apollo and the sun. These festivities last for eleven days around the summer sun solstice and are a variety of different games and skill challenges in the honour of Apollo. The games have their high point on the day of the solistice with a grand celebration in the streets of Delphi with food and wine for everyone. The citizens of Delphi deck out tables in front of their home and everyone who wants to join a table can. At every corner there is someone playing music and people are signing and dancing along.
When exactly the first celebration happened is hard to say. From reports of contemporary witnesses throughout time it seems like this festival has evolved from a simple celebration of the summer sun solstice in honor of Apollo. Over the centuries bits and pieces have been added to it - the days beforehand and afterwards have become sacred days in Delphi over time.
- The festivities and games are opened ceremoniously by the the high priest of Apollo on the evening of the first day. The first match is always a night hunt for a specific marked animal. Contestants have to spot and bring it back to the temple as an offering to the sun god.
- On the second day people could show their musical strengths in a contest of the Lyre.
- On the third day those who wished could show their mastery of the bow in different dsiciplines.
- On the fourth day there was a contest of the fine arts - interpretations of Apollo´s win over the Python were to be shown as either a painted picture or a sculpture made during the day.
- On the fifth day healers would show their Apollonian gift by trying to heal the most difficult cases that haven´t yet been able to be cured.
- The sixth day is the day of the summer sun solistice festivities. It includes food, dancing and a pageant.
- On the seventh day people would wander the streets out in the sun for as long as they could bear without seeking shadow.
- On the eighth day there was a competition of dance and music.
- On the ninth day people would gather to try and decipher prophecies of old by ancient Pythias that have yet to come to pass.
- On the tenth day there were games of telling the truth while still trying to deceive your opponent.
- On the eleventh day the games find their end by honoring the winners and Apollo in a huge ceremony followed by a play of Apollo´s win over the Python.