(9 Pyanepsion) The Stenia was a festival of Demeter and Persephone held three days before the Thesmophoria. Little is known of the Stenia, except that it was celebrated exclusively by women and ritualized jest, mock obscenity and insults are thought to have figured prominently. It would have coincided with the beginning of the ritual purification of the women who would be celebrating the Thesmophoria. Perhaps this was also the time that other women, called “The Bailers,” would fetch up the offerings for the Thesmophoria from the pits into which they were thrown at the Skirophoria (Parke 83).
Parke, H.W., Festivals of the Athenians, 1977