Tag Archives: Closing Ceremony

The Closing Ceremony in the Ancient Olympics

On the last day the athletes and their trainers and friends, priests, Hellanodkai, seers, and priests  participated in a procession that opened a day filled with sacrifice and feasting.  Individuals would sacrifice animals giving thanks to the gods, particularly Zeus, for their successes. The fortunate winners, while not receiving monetary awards at the Olympic ceremonies, became wealthy on their return to their home cities where they might be rewarded with homes, monetary awards or lifetime pensions.

After the procession with 100 bulls, an official animal sacrifice which was the main ritual of the Greek religion would be offered at the altar to Zeus. His altar was built on the ashes of previous animals that had been sacrificed there. At one point the Great Altar  was 120 feet in circumference and 21 feet high.  Stone flights allowed access to the top of the temple where the sacrifice was made.      Rita Bay

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