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"With the Bacchic comus, which turned a noisy festal banquet into a boisterous procession of revellers, a custom was from the earliest times connected, which was the first cause of the origin of comedy. The symbol of the productive power of nature was carried about by this band of revellers, and a wild, jovial song was recited in honour of the god in whom dwells this power of nature, namely, Bacchus himself, or one of his companions. Such phallophoric or ithyphallic songs were customary in various regions of Greece."--History of the Literature of Ancient Greece (1841) by Karl Otfried Müller

"It has frequently been remarked that popular feasts lead to excesses, and cause men to lose sight of the distinction separating the licit from the illicit."--The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (1912) by Émile Durkheim, tr. Joseph Swain

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  1. A very large meal.


From Middle English feeste, feste, borrowed from Old French feste, from Late Latin festa, from the plural of Latin festum (“holiday, festival, feast”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *dʰéh₁s (“god, godhead, deity”); see also Ancient Greek θεός (theós, “god, goddess”). More at theo-. Doublet of fete and fiesta.

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