Apellai ("Greek: ἀπέλλαι), was a three-day family-festival of the Northwest "Greeks similar with the "Ionic "Apaturia, which was dedicated to "Apollo ("Doric form:Ἀπέλλων). The fest was spread in Greece by the "Dorians as it is proved by the use of the month Apellaios (Ἀπελλαῖος or Ἀπελλαιών in "Ionic "Tenos).
The word is derived from the "Ancient Greek word pélla (πέλλα), "stone", and it appears in some toponyms in Greece like "Pella (Πέλλα).. The "Doric word apella (ἀπέλλα) originally meant wall, enclosure of stones, and later assembly of people within the limits of the square . The word usually appears in plural. "Apella was the popular assembly of "Sparta, which corresponds to the "ecclesia, in other "Greek city-states.
When a pubescent was received into the body of grown men, as a grown Kouros (male youth) he became ἀπελλάξ (apellax, "sharer in secret rites") and he could enter the apellai. The "apellaia were the offerings made at the initiation of the young men at a meeting of a family group.
"Apellaion is the offering of a part of the hair to the god, and corresponds to the Koureion of the "Apaturia. Apellaios is the month of these rites, and "Apellon is the "megistos kouros" (the great Kouros).
There is evidence for this festival in "Epidavros, "Olous, "Kalchedon, "Heracleia" at "Siris, "Tauromenion, "Chaleion, "Lamia, Oite, "Tolophon, "Delphi and also in "Ancient Macedonia. The "phratry (‘brotherhood’) controlled the access to civic rights. The three-day family-festival included initiation ceremonies, not concerning the state:
It is almost sure that the fest belonged originally to "Apollo, because his name is used in the oaths only near "Poseidon Phratrios and "Zeus Patroοs. In "Athens a common epithet of Apollo as family-god is "Apollo Patroos".