Date(s) - 23/02/2021
This day is dedicated to Terminus, the god of boundaries particularly that between territories and property.
This festival is towards promoting neighbourliness and to keep in check those strong feelings for ‘territory’ which man has inherited from
his animal past. In the sacra publica Ovid refers to the annual sacrifice of a sheep at the sixth milestone from Rome along the Via Laurentina which had marked the boundary between the early Romans and the Laurentes. Therefore, this ceremony is also dedicated to neighbourliness between communities as well as families.
Siculus Flaccus describes the ritual by which boundary stones between properties were first planted. The blood and ashes of a sacrificial
victim, together with fruits of the earth, honey and wine, were placed in a hole by the owners of converging fields and covered with a stone or stump of wood. This ceremony probably reflected in the annual ritual of the Terminalia.
Ovid says both groups of landowners garlanded their side of the boundary stone and together built a turf altar; while the wives from both families bring fire from the hearth, the landowners chops wood and prepares the bonfire to be used in the sacrifice. The sons three times throws grain from a basket into the fire and the daughters present honey-combs; others offer wine. The company is also dressed in white. A lamb or sucking pig is then offered. A feast follows and songs are sung in praise of Terminus.