Gamelia (Γαμηλία) in ancient Athens may be a wedding customary law, or a name of a wedding festival or wedding solemnities in general. Gamelion was the name of the month (15 December- 15 January) in the Attic calendar, when marriages took place.
The demes and phratries of Attica possessed various means to prevent metic intruders from assuming the rights of citizens. Among other regulations it was ordained that every bride, previous to her marriage, should be introduced by her parents or guardians to the phratry of her husband (gamelian hyper gynaikos esipherein Isaeus, de Pyrrh. Haered. pp. 62, 65, &c.; de Ciron. Haered. p. 208 ; Demosth. c. Eubul. p. 1312 and 1320). This introduction of the young women was accompanied by presents to their new phratores, which were called gamelia (Suidas, s. v.; Schol. ad Dem. c. Eubul. p. 1312.) The women were enrolled in the lists of the phratries, and this enrolment was also called gamelia. The presents seem to have consisted in a feast given to the phratores, and the phratores in return made some offerings to the gods on behalf of the young bride. (Pollux, iii. 3, viii. 9, 28.) The acceptance of the presents and the permission to enroll the bride in the registers of the phratria, was equivalent to a declaration that she was considered a true citizen, and that consequently her children would have legitimate claims to all the rights and privileges of citizens. (Herm. Lelir. d. griech. Staatsalt. § 100, n. 1.) • -
Gamelia was also the name of a sacrifice offered to Athena on the day previous to the marriage of a girl. She was taken by her parents to the temple of the goddess in the Acropolis, where the offerings were made on her behalf. Suidas, s. v. proteleia) The plural, Gameliai was used to express wedding solemnities in general. (Lycophron, ap, Etym. m.s.v.)