The Greeks worshipped these Gods and honored them with different kinds of festivals. Their celebrations have continued throughout the years and two have become worldwide traditions. The Olympics and the theater are the result of Greek religious events. The Olympics were held in Olympia, a collection of temples and arenas built in fields. Athletes from all over Greece participated in the sports. This festival was held in such high esteem that any wars or fights were put off until the celebration was over.
Also included in the Greek practices of worship was the sacrifice. Different gods and goddesses demanded different sacrifices and put different restrictions on the sacrificial offerings. Sacrifices took all shapes and forms from animals to human babies, bulls for Zeus, cows for Demeter. A sacrifice for the Olympians was killed with throat upward and the ceremony would be performed in the morning sunshine.
Although there were many gods; there were 12 main gods referred to as the 12 Olympians: Zeus, Hera, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Hermes, Hephaistos, Ares, Demeter and Dionysus. These Gods lived on Mount Olympus.
Zeus was the strongest of all the gods. He ruled the weather by himself and the universe with 11 other gods. Zeus was the spiritual father of the gods. He was usually armed with a thunderbolt. He was also called Thunder. Hera was the wife of Zeus. She was the goddess of marriage and childbirth. She was also the queen of heaven. Athena was Zeus' favorite daughter because she had sprung fully armed from his head when Zeus swallowed her mother, Metis. She was the goddess of wisdom and war. Frequently she was called Pallas. Apollo was also a son of Zeus. Apollo drove the chariot of the sun across the skies. He was the music maker of the gods and was the god of light, music, medicine, agriculture, and prophecy. He was also known as Helios. Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo. She was the moon goddess and also the goddess of vegetables, birth, and the hunt. She was the favorite among people. Artemis was often pictured with a stag or hunting dogs. Poseidon was Zeus' somewhat unruly brother. He was god of the sea, of earthquakes, streams, and horses. Aphrodite was the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. Hermes was the messenger of the gods and the protector of travelers who escorted the dead down to Hades. Hephaistos was the only ugly god. He was the god of fire. He was skilled in craftsmanship. He forged the armor of the gods. He was patron of handicrafts and protector of blacksmiths. Ares was one of Zeus' sons. He was the god of war. He loved Aphrodite. Demeter was the goddess of the earth's fruits. She was the mother of