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Date(s) - 15/04/2019
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This festival of a ‘killing of a cow with a calf (forda)’ takes us back to the earliest days of Rome; it was designed to promote the fertility of the land and flocks. Ovid gives a clear account of the ritual. Pregnant cows were offered to the Earth (Tellus). One cow was sacrificed on the Capitol by the pontiffs, and one in each of the thirty curiae. With the Fornacalia, this was the only festival to be organized on the basis of the curiae. The senior Vestal Virgins tore the unborn calves from their mothers’ wombs and burnt them; the Vestals kept the ashes to use at the Parilia on 21 April. By this process, the fertility of the cows was to be encouraged to pass into the corn growing in the womb of the earth.

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