Eikas (Greek εἰκάς from εἴκοσῐ eíkosi, "twenty"), Eikadenfest[1] (also simply referred to as The Twentieth) is a holiday celebrated among Epicureans in commemoration of Epicurus and Metrodorus. It is a monthly celebration taking place on the 20th day of every month.[2] The observance was made during Epicurus' lifetime, and provisions were made in his will to continue the practice.[3][4] It became so characteristic of the Epicureans that they were given the nickname Twentiers (eikadistae) by detractors. [5] It was also used as a means of recruitment for new students into the Epicurean school, as the Garden was opened for participation in the festivities.

The day had special significance among the Greeks before Epicurus, the twentieth being sacred to the god Apollo, and also corresponding to the final day of the rites of initiation to the mysteries of Demeter. [6]

The observance of Eikas has recently been revived among modern Epicureans and humanists.[7][8][9] It is considered a feast day dedicated to the enjoyment of friendship, happiness, and pleasure. Friends of the school are urged to visit and commune with each other and to receive one another with the customary greeting Happy Twentieth!. Modern observances may include toasts to the memory of Epicurus and Metrodorus and other departed friends accompanied by libations in a symposial setting, followed by music, banqueting, and philosophical conversation on a theme related to Epicurean philosophy.

References

  1. ^ Frischer, Bernard (1982), The Sculpted Word: Epicureanism and Philosophical Recruitment in Ancient Greece, Berkeley, California: University of California Press. pp. 42
  2. ^ Cicero. De Finibus Bonorum Et Malorum. p. II.101.
  3. ^ Diogenes Laërtius, Lives of the Eminent Philosophers, Book X, Section 18
  4. ^ "Philodemus: Epigrams (excerpted from The Greek Anthology 11.44)". Attalus.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "The Celebration of the 20th". Society of Friends of Epicurus.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ DeWitt, Norman Wentworth (1964), Epicurus and His Philosophy, Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 104-105
  7. ^ "Happy Twentieth!". The Humanist.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Eikas - The Epicurean Feast of the Twentieth". Society of Friends of Epicurus. 2021.
  9. ^ "Twentieth Commemorations". EpicureanFriends.com.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)