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Haloa (festival)

Haloa or Alo was an Attic festival, celebrated principally at Eleusis, in honour of Demeter , protector of the fruits of the earth, of Dionysus, god of the grape and of wine, and Poseidon , god of the seashore vegetation. In Greek, the word hálōs from which Haloa derives means “threshing-floor” or “garden.” While the general consensus is that it was a festival related to threshing—the process of loosening the edible part of cereal grain after harvest—some scholars disagree and argue that it was instead a gardening festival. Haloa focuses mainly on the “first fruits” of the harvest, partly as a grateful acknowledgement for the benefits the husbandmen received, partly as prayer that the next harvest would be plentiful. The festival was also called Thalysia or Syncomesteria.