DAPHNEPHORIA, a festival held every nine years at Thebes, in Bceotia, in honour of Apollo, consisting of a procession in which the chief figure was a boy chosen on each occasion for his beauty and strength, who at the same time was of a good family and had both parents alive. He was styled Daphnephoros, "laurel-bearer." In front of him walked one of his nearest relatives, carrying an olive branch hung with laurel and flowers and having on the upper end a bronze ball from which hung several smaller balls. Another smaller ball was placed on the middle of the branch or pole, which was then twined round with purple ribbons, and at the lower end with saffron ribbons. These balls were said to indicate the sun, stars, and moon, while the ribbons referred to the days of the year, being 305 in number. This object was called the Kopo. The Daphnephoros, wearing a golden crown, or, as Pausanias (ix. 10, 4) says, a wreath of laurel, richly dressed and partly holding the Kopo, was followed by a chorus of maidens carrying suppliant branches and singing a hymn to the god. The Daphnephoros dedicated a bronze tripod in the temple of Apollo, and Pausanias (loc. cit.) mentions the tripod dedicated there by Amphitryon when his on Hercules had been Daphnephoros.