This saying has pretty deep roots—all the way back to Delphi, in fact. The Greeks in Delphi worshiped Apollo for nine months out of the year. It was during these nine months that citizens were especially devout. People would travel far and wide to hear the prophecies of the Oracle. Our guide explained that the temple was conveniently located over a fissure in the Earth’s crust. Methane would rise up out of the ground; the Greeks figured it was Apollo speaking to them, so they would get a young, wealthy girl from an upstanding family to be the Oracle. In actuality, she was just a preteen cracked out from the methane she was inhaling, but incoherent babblings of hallucinations were usually translated by the priest into, “we will have a great harvest this year!” Unfortunately, one of the girls was so drugged that she flung herself off a cliff; needless to say, it was then decided that the widows of the town should be given the honor of becoming the Oracle.
But when winter came, the gas stopped rising out the Earth. The Greeks took this as a sign that Apollo was away. So what did they do? Party! That’s where the virtue “everything in moderation” came from. After all, being holy the whole year round isn’t moderate, right? During the winter months, the Greeks worshipped Dionysius, the god of fertility and wine. You can use your imagination! I’m going to guess they didn’t get too crazy, though because apparently those who committed sacrilege were thrown off the high cliffs. I thought this was pretty funny, so my group pretended to sacrifice me on a rock for the camera. I proceeded to lie on one of the large, flat stones, with my tongue lolling out of my mouth while four or five girls pretended to stab me with their imaginary daggers.