Plutarch, That Epicurus Actually Makes a Pleasant Life Impossible
21 = Moralia
1102 A (tr. Benedict Einarson and Philip H. De Lacy):
Rich men and kings have a constant round of one banquet or full-spread dinner after another; but when it is a feast held on the occasion of some sacred rite or sacrifice, and when they believe that their thoughts come closest to God as they as they do him honour and reverence, it brings pleasure and sweetness of a far superior kind. Of this a man gets nothing if he has given up faith in providence. For it is not the abundance of wine or the roast meats that cheer the heart at festivals, but good hope and the belief in the benign presence of the god and his gracious acceptance of what is done.
καὶ πλουσίοις τε καὶ βασιλεῦσιν ἑστιάσεις καὶ πανδαισίαι τινὲς ἀεί πάρεισιν, αἱ δ᾽ ἐφ᾽ ἱεροῖς καὶ θυηπολίαις, καὶ ὅταν ἔγγιστα τοῦ θείου τῇ ἐπινοίᾳ ψαύειν δοκῶσι μετὰ τιμῆς καὶ σεβασμοῦ, πολὺ διαφέρουσαν ἡδονὴν καὶ χάριν ἔχουσι. ταύτης οὐδὲν ἀνδρὶ μέτεστιν ἀπεγνωκότι τῆς προνοίας. οὐ γὰρ οἴνου πλῆθος οὐδ᾽ ὄπτησις κρεῶν τὸ εὐφραῖνόν ἐστιν ἐν ταῖς ἑορταῖς, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐλπὶς ἀγαθὴ καὶ δόξα τοῦ παρεῖναι τὸν θεὸν εὐμενῆ καὶ δέχεσθαι τὰ γιγνόμενα κεχαρισμένως.
Related post: Holidays