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February 17, 2016 at 4:28 pm #708
Today, February 17, is the occasion of the Quirinalia, or the anniversary of the murder of Romulus and his eventually identification as the god, Quirinus, the god of the Roman civil society.
In the absence of a current Flamen Quirinalis, this morning, I offered incense to Quirinus on behalf of the quirities of the Roman Republic, myself, my family and my household.
Today is also dies Parentales or the Parentalia, which is the festival to honor ancestors. This is usually regarded as a private household festival, in which I offered incense to the ancestors of the Domus Vitelliius. I encourage you to honor your ancestors today, by whatever means are appropriate to you. Do not forget them, for they watch over you and yours each day.
TriariusFebruary 17, 2016 at 4:34 pm #2919
In the absence of a current pontifical calendar at this point, I offer the following festival dates as a reference for the coming year and looking toward the formal establishment of a state calendar by the CP.
In the old Roman calendar (until perhaps as late as 153 BC), the mensis Martius ("Mars’ Month") was the first month of the year. It is one of the few months to be named for a god, Mars, whose festivals dominate the month.
1 (Kalends): the original New Year’s Day when the sacred fire of Rome was renewed; the dancing armed priesthood of the Salii celebrated the Feriae Marti (holiday for Mars), which was also the dies natalis ("birthday") of Mars; also the Matronalia, in honor of Juno Lucina, Mars’ mother
7: a second festival for Vediovis
9: a dies religiosus when the Salii carried the sacred shields (ancilia) around the city again
14: the second Equirria, a Feriae Marti also called the Mamuralia or sacrum Mamurio
15 (Ides): Feriae Iovi, sacred to Jove, and also the feast of the year goddess Anna Perenna
16–17: the procession of the Argei
17: Liberalia, in honour of Liber; also an Agonalia for Mars
19: Quinquatrus, later expanded into a five-day holiday as Quinquatria, a Feriae Marti, but also a feast day for Minerva, possibly because her temple on the Aventine Hill was dedicated on this day
23: Tubilustrium, purification of the trumpets
24: a day marked QRFC, when the Comitia Calata met to sanction wills
31: anniversary of the Temple of Luna on the Aventine
1 (Kalends): Veneralia in honour of Venus
4–10: Ludi Megalenses or Megalesia, in honor of the Magna Mater or Cybele, whose temple was dedicated April 10, 191 BC
5: anniversary of the Temple of Fortuna Publica
12–19: Cerialia or Ludi Cereri, festival and games for Ceres, established by 202 BC
13 (Ides): anniversary of the Temple of Jupiter Victor
15: Fordicidia, offering of a pregnant cow to Tellus ("Earth")
21: Parilia, rustic festival in honour of Pales, and the dies natalis of Rome
23: the first of two wine festivals (Vinalia), the Vinalia Priora for the previous year’s wine, held originally for Jupiter and later Venus
25: Robigalia, an agricultural festival involving dog sacrifice
27 (28 in the Julian calendar) to May 1: Ludi Florales in honour of Flora, extended to May 3 under the Empire
The feriae conceptivae of this month is the Ambarvalia (see below).
1 (Kalends): Games of Flora continue; sacrifice to Maia; anniversary of the Temple of Bona Dea on the Aventine; rites for the Lares Praestites, tutelaries of the city of Rome
3: in the Imperial period, a last celebration for Flora, or the anniversary of one of her temples
9, 11, 13: Lemuria, a festival of the dead with both public and household rites, possibly with a sacrifice to Mania on the 11th
14: anniversary of the Temple of Mars Invictus (Mars the Unconquered); a second procession of the Argei
15 (Ides): Mercuralia, in honor of Mercury; Feriae of Jove
21: one of four Agonalia, probably a third festival for Vediovis
23: a second Tubilustrium; Feriae for Volcanus (Vulcan)
24: QRCF, following Tubilustrium as in March
25: anniversary of the Temple of Fortuna Primigenia
1 (Kalends): anniversaries of the Temple of Juno Moneta; of the Temple of Mars on the clivus (slope, street) outside the Porta Capena; and possibly of the Temple of the Tempestates (storm goddesses); also a festival of the complex goddess Cardea or Carna
3: anniversary of the Temple of Bellona
4: anniversary of the restoration of the Temple of Hercules Custos
5: anniversary of the Temple of Dius Fidius
7: Ludi Piscatorii, "Fishermen’s Games"
7–15: Vestalia, in honour of Vesta; June 9 was a dies religiosus to her
8: anniversary of the Temple of Mens
11: Matralia in honour of Mater Matuta; also the anniversary of the Temple of Fortuna in the Forum Boarium
13 (Ides): Feriae of Jove
13–15: Quinquatrus minusculae, the lesser Quinquatrus celebrated by tibicines, flute-players in their role as accompanists to religious ceremonies
19: a commemoration involving the Temple of Minerva on the Aventine, which had its anniversary March 19
20: anniversary of the Temple of Summanus
24: festival of Fors Fortuna, which "seems to have been a rowdy affair"
25-26: Taurian Games; there is a question if these ludi had a fixed date or recurred on a regular basis.
27: poorly attested observance in honour of the Lares; anniversary of the Temple of Jupiter Stator
29: anniversary of the Temple of Hercules Musarum, Hercules of the Muses
IVLIVS [QVINTILIS] (July)
Until renamed for Julius Caesar, this month was called Quinctilis or Quintilis, originally the fifth month (quint-) when the year began in March. From this point in the calendar forward, the months had numerical designations.
1 (Kalends): a scarcely attested anniversary of a temple to Juno Felicitas
6–13: Ludi Apollinares, games in honour of Apollo, first held in 212 BC as a one-day event (July 13) and established as annual in 208 BC.
6: anniversary of the Temple of Fortuna Muliebris
7 (Nones): Nonae Caprotinae; Ancillarum Feriae (Festival of the Serving Women); sacrifice to Consus by unspecified public priests (sacerdotes publici); also a minor festival to the two Pales
14–19: a series of markets or fairs (mercatus) following the Ludi Apollinares; not religious holidays
15 (Ides): Transvectio equitum, a procession of cavalry
17: anniversary of the Temple of Honos and Virtus; sacrifice to Victory
18: a dies ater ("black day," meaning a day of ill omen) marking the defeat of the Romans by the Gauls at the Battle of the Allia in 390 BC, leading to the sack of Rome by the Gauls
19, 21: Lucaria
20–30: Ludi Victoriae Caesaris, "Games of the Victorious Caesar", held annually from 45 BC
22: anniversary of the Temple of Concordia at the foot of the Capitol
23: Neptunalia held in honour of Neptune
25: Furrinalia, feriae publicae in honour of Furrina
30: anniversary of the Temple of the Fortune of This Day (Fortunae Huiusque Diei)
AVGUSTUS [SEXTILIS] (August)
1: (Kalends): anniversary of the Temple of Spes (Hope) in the Forum Holitorium, with commemorations also for the "two Victories" on the Palatine
3: Supplicia canum ("punishment of the dogs") an unusual dog sacrifice and procession at the temples of Iuventas ("Youth") and Summanus, connected to the Gallic siege
5: public sacrifice (sacrificium publicum) at the Temple of Salus on the Quirinal
9: public sacrifice to Sol Indiges
12: sacrifice of a heifer to Hercules Invictus, with a libation from the skyphos of Hercules
13 (Ides): festival of Diana on the Aventine (Nemoralia), with slaves given the day off to attend; other deities honored at their temples include Vortumnus, Fortuna Equestris, Hercules Victor (or Invictus at the Porta Trigemina), Castor and Pollux, the Camenae, and Flora
17: Portunalia in honour of Portunes; anniversary of the Temple of Janus
19: Vinalia Rustica, originally in honour of Jupiter, but later Venus
21: Consualia, with a sacrifice on the Aventine
23: Vulcanalia or Feriae Volcano in honour of Vulcan, along with sacrifices to Maia, the Nymphs in campo ("in the field", perhaps the Campus Martius), Ops Opifera, and a Hora
24: sacrifices to Luna on the Graecostasis; and the first of three days when the mysterious ritual pit called the mundus was opened
25: Opiconsivia or Feriae Opi in honour of Ops Consivae at the Regia
27: Volturnalia, when the Flamen Volturnalis made a sacrifice to Volturnus
28: Games at the Circus Maximus (circenses) for Sol and Luna
1 (Kalends): ceremonies for Jupiter Tonans ("the Thunderer") on the Capitolium, and Juno Regina on the Aventine
5: anniversary of one of the temples to Jupiter Stator
5–19, Ludi Romani or Ludi Magni, "the oldest and most famous" of the ludi
13 (Ides): anniversary of the Temple to Jupiter Optimus Maximus; an Epulum Iovis; an epulum to the Capitoline Triad
14: Equorum probatio ("Approval of the Horses"), a cavalry parade of the Imperial period
20–23: days set aside for markets and fairs (mercatus) immediately following the Ludi Romani
23: anniversary of the rededication of the Temple of Apollo in the Campus Martius; Latona was also honored
26: anniversary of the Temple of Venus Genetrix vowed by Julius Caesar
1 (Kalends): ceremonies for Fides and the Tigillum Sororium
3–12: Ludi Augustales, established 14 AD after the death of Augustus, based on the Augustalia
4: Ieiunium Cereris, a day of fasting in honour of Ceres, instituted in 191 BC as a quinquennial observance, made annual by Augustus
5: second of the three days when the mundus was opened
6: dies ater ("black day") to mark the anniversary of the battle of Arausio (105 BC)
7 (Nones): rites for Jupiter Fulgur (Jupiter of daytime lightning) and Juno Curitis
9: rites at shrines for the Genius Publicus, Fausta Felicitas, and Venus Victrix on the Capitolium
10: ceremonies to mark a rededication of the Temple of Juno Moneta
12: Augustalia, celebrated from 14 AD in honour of the divinized Augustus, established in 19 BC with a new altar and sacrifice to Fortuna Redux
13: Fontinalia in honour of Fons
14: ceremonies to mark a restoration of the Temple of the Penates Dei on the Velian Hill
15 (Ides): October Horse sacrifice to Mars in the Campus Martius; also Feriae of Jupiter
16: Lupinalia, the Festival of Wolves
19: Armilustrium, a dies religiosus in honour of Mars
26 to November 1: Ludi Victoriae Sullanae, "Victory Games of Sulla", established as an annual event in 81 BC
1 (Kalends): Ludi circenses to close the Sullan Victory Games
4–17: Plebeian Games
8: third of the three days when the mundus ritual pit was opened
13 (Ides): Epulum Jovis; also ceremonies for Feronia and Fortuna Primigeniae
14: a second Equorum probatio (cavalry parade), as on July 15
18–20: markets and fairs (mercatus)
1 (Kalends): ceremonies at temples for Neptune and for Pietas
3: Bona Dea rites for women only
5 (Nones): a country festival for Faunus held by the pagi
8: festival for Tiberinus Pater and Gaia
11: Agonalia for Indiges; also the (probably unrelated) Septimontium
12: ceremonies at the Temple of Consus on the Aventine
13 (Ides): dies natalis of the Temple of Tellus, and associated lectisternium for Ceres
15: Consualia or Feriae for Consus, the second of the year
17–23: Saturnalia in honour of Saturn, with the public ritual on the 17th
18 Eponalia in honour of Epona
19: Opalia in honour of Ops
21: Divalia in honour of Angerona; Hercules and Ceres also received a sacrifice
22: anniversary of the Temple of the Lares Permarini in the Porticus Minucia
23: Larentalia; commemorations for the temples of Diana and Juno Regina in the Circus Flaminius, and for the Tempestates; Sigillaria, the last day of the Saturnalia, devoted to gift-giving
25: Dies Natalis Solis Invicti ("Birthday of the Unconquered Sun"); Brumalia (both Imperial)
1 (Kalends): From 153 BC onward, consuls entered office on this date, accompanied by vota publica (public vows for the wellbeing of the republic and later of the emperor) and the taking of auspices. Festivals were also held for the imported cult of Aesculapius and for the obscure god Vediovis.
3-5: most common dates for Compitalia, a moveable feast (feriae conceptivae)
5 (Nones): Dies natalis (founding day) of the shrine of Vica Pota on the Velian Hill
9: Agonalia in honor of Janus, after whom the month January is named; first of at least four festivals named Agonalia throughout the year
11 and 15: Carmentalia, with Juturna celebrated also on the 11th
24–26: most common dates for the Sementivae, a feriae conceptivae of sowing, perhaps also known as the Paganalia as celebrated by the pagi
27: Dies natalis of the Temple of Castor and Pollux, or perhaps marking its rededication (see also July 15); Ludi Castores ("Games of the Castors") celebrated at Ostia during the Imperial period
In the archaic Roman calendar, February was the last month of the year. The name derives from februa, "the means of purification, expiatory offerings." It marked a turn of season, with February 5 the official first day of spring bringing the renewal of agricultural activities after winter.
1 (Kalends): Dies natalis for the Temple of Juno Sospita, Mother and Queen; sacra at the Grove of Alernus, near the Tiber at the foot of the Palatine Hill
5: Dies natalis for the Temple of Concordia on the Capitoline Hill
13 (Ides): minor festival of Faunus on the Tiber Island
13–22: Parentalia, a commemoration of ancestors and the dead among families 13: Parentatio, with appeasement of the Manes beginning at the 6th hour and ceremonies performed by the chief Vestal; temples were closed, no fires burned on altars, marriages were forbidden, magistrates took off their insignia, until the 21st
17: last day of the feriae conceptivae Fornacalia, the Oven Festival; Quirinalia, in honour of Quirinus
21: Feralia, the only public observation of the Parentalia, marked F (dies festus) in some calendars and FP (a designation of uncertain meaning) in others, with dark rites aimed at the gods below (di inferi)
22: Caristia (or Cara Cognatio, "Dear Kindred"), a family pot luck in a spirit of love and forgiveness
23: Terminalia, in honour of Terminus
27: Equirria, first of two horse-racing festivals to Mars
Compitalia: held sometime between December 17 (the Saturnalia) and January 5; in the later Empire, they were regularly held January 3–5, but Macrobius (5th century AD) still categorized them as conceptivae.
Sementivae: a festival of sowing honoring Tellus and Ceres, placed on January 24–26 by Ovid, who regards these feriae as the same as Paganalia; Varro may indicate that the two were separate festivals.
Fornacalia: a mid-February baking festival celebrated by the curiae, the 30 archaic divisions of the Roman people; the date was announced by the curio maximus and set for each curia individually, with a general Fornacalia on February 17 for those who had missed their own or who were uncertain to which curia they belonged.
Amburbium: a ceremony to purify the city (urbs) as a whole, perhaps held sometime in February.
Feriae Latinae: (Latin Festival) a major and very old conceptivae in April.
Ambarvalia: purification of the fields in May by the Arval Brethren priests.
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