Public games were held both in Greece and Rome in honour of the honoured dead. Examples of this custom are numerous: as at the death of Azan (son of Arcas, father of the Arcadians); the games instituted by Hercules at the death of Pelops; those held at the death of dipus; the games held by Achilles in honour of his friend Patroclos (Homer: Iliad, book xxiii.); those held by Æneas in honour of his father Anchises (Virgil: Æneid, book v.); the games held in honour of Miltides (Herodotos); those in honour of Brasidas (Thucydides ); and those in honour of Timoleon mentioned by Plutarch. The spectators at these games generally dressed in white.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894