Feastdays

This mythological calendar contains a number of (ancient) feastdays and festivals often celebrated in honor of a god or goddess or some mythological event.

January

  • 1: Aesculapio Vediovi
    The date on which the temple of Vediovis was vowed by the praetor L. Furius Purpureo. The connection between Vediovis en Aesculapius is unexplained.
  • 3 - 5: Compitalia
    The ludi compitales or ludi compitalicii, the festival in honor of the Lares Compitales, the household deities of crossroads. Sacrifices were offered where two or more ways met. Slaves had a part in it, as well as the plebeians. The magistri vicorum, who were responsible for the festival, wore the toga praetexta on the day of its celebration. It was a moveable feast (feriae conceptivae) but the common days were January 3 to 5.
  • 5: Vica Pota
    The dies natalis of the shrine of Vica Pota on the Velian Hill.
  • 9: Agonalia
    On this day the Rex offered in the Regia a ram, possibly in honor of Janus. This sacrifice was said to have been instituted by Numa.
  • 11: Carmentalia
    The festival in honor of the nymphs called Carmenta. A sacrifice was offered by the flamen Carmentalis and the Pontifices, in the fanum Carmentis, near the Porta Carmentis, southwest of the Capitol. One Carmentis was known as Antevorta, the other as Postvorta, and they were regarded as goddesses foretelling the fortunes of newly-born children; hence the festival was chiefly observed by married women. Nothing in any way connected with death was allowed to be used in the worship, not even leather.
  • 11: Juturnalia Servius
    A day on which Juturna was worshiped.
  • 15: Carmentalia
    The second day of the festival of the Carmenta. This day was given up especially to rites bearing upon childbirth.
  • 24 - 26: Sementivae
    Or Paganalia, a rural festival of the pagus (a country district), held in honor of Ceres and Tellus who were invoked to bring to maturity the seeds sown in the autum by preserving it from pests and hurtful things; and also to assist the sower in his work in the spring that is at hand. The sacrifice to Ceres or Tellus included a pregnant sow. This is also a feriae conceptivae, a moveable feast.
  • 27: Castori et Polluci
    The dies natalis of the temple of Castor and Pollux.

February

  • 1: Iunoni Sospitae
    A dies natalis of a temple of the great Lanuvian goddess, Juno Sospita, in the Forum Olitorium.
  • 5: Concordiae in arce
    A dies natalis of the temple of Concordia on the Capitoline Hill.
  • 13: Fauno in insula
    The day the temple of Faunus was vowed; it was built by fines exacted from holders of ager publicus who had not paid their rents. See also December 5.
  • 13 - 22: Parentalia
    The dies parentales, or days of worshiping deceased relatives, began at the sixth hour of the day, and continued either to the 21st (Feralia), or the 22nd (cara cognatio).
  • 15: Lupercalia
    A festival in honor of Faunus, who was worshiped under the name Lupercus. The object of the festival was, by expiation and purification, to give new life and fruitfulness to fields, flocks, and people. On this day, the celebrants met at the Lupercal, a cave at the foot of the Palatine Hill, the spot where, according to tradition, Romulus and Remus were deposited by the Tiber and nourished by a she-wolf. The flamen Dialis sacrificed goats and a dog, and touched two youths on the forehead with a knife, smeared with the blood of the goats. It was then immediately wiped off with wool dipped in milk, whereupon they were bound to laugh. The Luperci, crowned and annointed and wearing only a goat-skin, ran round the ancient city on the Palatine with thongs (februa) cut from the skin of the sacrificed goats. Women used to place themselves in their way to receive blows from the thongs, which was believed to be a charm against barrenness. The whole month of Februari was one of purification.
  • 17: Fornacalia
    The last day of the Fornacalia, the feast of ovens, in honor of Farnax, to ensure that grain might be properly backed. It does not appear in the calendars, as it was a moveable feast (feriae conceptivae). Each division conducted its own rites, under the supervision of its curio and (for the last day) of the Curio Maximus. The festival was said to have been founded by Numa and was held in the Forum. All who missed the festivals were called fools (stulti), as being supposed not to know which was their curia, and had to make an offering at the Feast of Fools, the day of the Quirinalia.
  • 17: Quirinalia
    A festival in honor of Quirinus, the date on which Romulus was said to have been carried up to heaven. It was also called Stultorum Feriae, or "Feast of Fools."
  • 21: Feralia
    The last day of the Parentalia.
  • 22: Caristia
    Also called Cara Cognatio ("Dear Kindred"). A Roman family day, following the Parentalia and the Feralia. It was a thanksgiving for the survivors. None but relatives were invited, and on this occasion quarrels and misunderstandings were ended.
  • 23: Terminalia
    The feast of Terminus, celebrated in Rome and in the country. Neighbors on either side of a boundary gathered round the landmark and crowned it with garlands, and offered cakes and bloodless sacrifices. In later times, a lamb or a suckling-pig was sometimes slain, and the stone sprinkled with blood. Afterwards, there was a great feast. A lamb was also sacrificed in the grove of Terminus.
  • 24: Regifugium
    "King's flight," a festival celebrated perhaps to commemorate the expulsion of the kings. On this day the Rex Sacrorum offered sacrifice on the Comitium, and then hastily fled.
  • 27: Equirria
    A festival in honor of Mars, when horseraces and games were exhibited in the Campus Martius. Again on March 14. It is one of the oldest festivals and was said to have been established by Romulus.

March

  • 1: Feriae Marti
    The first of the three principle days of "moving" the ancilia. The Salii seem to have danced with the shields all through the month of March until the 24th.
  • 1: Matronalia
    The chief festival of Juno (Juno Lacinia). On the first day of March all the matrons of Rome marched in procession to the temple of the goddess on the Esquiline to offer flowers and libations.
  • 1: Roman New Year
    The Roman New Year started on March 1. On this day the sacred fire of Rome was renewed.
  • 7: Vediovi
    On March 7, a goat was offered to Veiovis (Vediovis), probably as an expiatory sacrifice.
  • 9: Arma ancilia movent
    One of the days on which the ancilia was moved by the Salii. The first "moving" was on March 1st, and the third on March 23rd.
  • 14: Equirria
    A festival in honor of Mars, when horseraces and games were exhibited in the Campus Martius. Also on Februari 27. Part of the Feriae Marti.
  • 14: Mamuralia
    A festival in which a sacrifice was offered to Mamurius (Mars) and a man clothed in skins was driven out of the city with peeled rods. Possibly the same as Equirria but at a later date.
  • 15: Feriae Annae Perennae
    An old popular festival, but which had died out in the early Empire. People streamed out of the "festum geniale" of Anna Perenna and, taking up position in the Campus Martius, passed the day in reverly and drinking. As they drank they prayed for as many years of life as they can swallow cups of wine.
  • 16: Sacra Argeorum
    The procession of the Argei, in which the pontiffs received from various stations figurines, made of bulrushes and in the form of men, which were afterwards thrown into the Tiber from the Sublician Bridge.
  • 17: Agonium Martiale
    Or Agonalia, the day on which a victim (agonia) was offered by the Salii agonales on the Mons Quirinalis, hence sometimes called Mons Agonus, in honor of Mars, or more probably of Quirinus.
  • 17: Liberalia
    A festival in honor of Liber Pater and his wife Libera. Old women, sacerdotes Liberi, sat crowned with ivy all about the streets on this day with cakes of oil and honey (liba), and a small portable altar (foculus), on which to sacrifice for the benifit of the buyer of these cakes. On this day it was also made known the list of tirones, as the boys were called when the toga virilis was assumed and they were ready for military service. They marched in procession to the Capitol and made offerings of liba.
  • 19 - 23: Quinquatria
    Also Quinquatrus, named after the fifth day after the Ides. The Salii were active this day in the worship of Mars in the Comitium. Arms were brought out to be readied for the campaigning season. It came to be considered sacred to Minerva because a temple to that goddess was consecrated on this day. Part of the Feriae Marti. Originally one day, it was later expanded to five days, from March 19 to March 23.
  • 23: Tubilustrium
    The day of the lustration of the tubae or tubi used in summoning the assemby. Here, the comitia curiata met for sanctioning the wills under the presidency of the Rex. The event took place again on May 23.
  • 31: Lunae in Aventino
    The dies natalis of the temple of Luna on the Aventine Hill.

April

  • 1: Veneralia
    A festival in honor of Venus among ladies of rank in late times, while an older custom was kept up by the humiliores in honor of Fortuna Virilis. The latter was worshiped by women when bathing in the men's bath to give them good luck in their relatins with men. She was later supplanted by Venus Verticordia. According to Macrobius, Venus had originally no share in the worship of this day or month. Plutarch mentions that on the festival of the Veneralia they poured out a great quantity of wine from the temple of Venus.
  • 4 - 10: Megalesia
    Or Ludi Megalenses, a festival in honor of Cybele (Magna Mater), celebrating the day in which a sacred black stone representing the goddess had been deposited in the temple of Victory on the Palatine in accordance with a Sibylline oracle. The games were held on the Palatine and later in the theaters. At the celebration, the Galli carried a sacred ensign in procession through the city, singing Greek hymns and collecting coins from the people in the streets. The ceremony lasted seven days, and ended with a grand carnival.
  • 5: Fortunae publicae citeriori in colle
    The dies natalis or anniversary of the temple of Fortuna Publica.
  • 12 - 19: Cerealia
    The Cerealia, or Ludi Cereri, was a major festival in honor of Ceres, the goddess of grain. According to Ovid, it was the practice on this day to fasten burning brands to the tails of foxes and set them loose to run in the Circus Maximus. Long ago, Ovid explains, a boy of twelve years from Carseoli, an Aequian town, caught a fox which had done damage to the farm, and tied it up in straw and hay. This he set on fire, but the fox escaped and burnt the crops. Since then there was a law at Carseoli that bans foxes and they burn a fox at the Cerealia to punish the species, destroying it in the same wasy as it destroyed the crops. In later times the Cerealia were extended by the aediles from April 12 to 19.
  • 15: Fordicidia
    One of the oldest sacrificial rites in Roman religion. It consisted in the slaughter of pregnant cows (hordae or fordae), one in the Capitol and one in each ot the thirty curiae, i.e. one for the state and the rest for each of its ancient divisions. The cows were offered to Tellus, the earth. The unborn calf was torn from the mother's womb by the attendants of the Virgo Vestalix Maximus, and burnt. The ashes were kept by the Vestals for use at the Paralia a few days later. The object of burning the unborn calf seems to have been to procure the fertility of the cow now growing in the womb of mother earth, Tellus.
  • 21: Parilia
    One of the oldest and best attested festivals, both public and private, urban and rustic. It was celebrated in honor of Pales and aimed at cleansing both sheep and shepherd. After sprinkling and sweeping the fold at daybreak, the shepherd made a fire of heaps of straw, olive branches and laurels. The shepherd leapt through fire and the sheep where driven through it. He then offered baskets of millet and cakes, pails of milk and other foods to Pales, praying to the deity to avert all evil from himself and his flocks and to promote its fruitfulness.
    The urban Parilia was celebrated in much the same way, but the day was also reckoned as the birthday (dies natalis urbis) of Rome. It is connected with the festival of the Fordicidia and that of the "October horse."
  • 23: Vinalia
    Or Vinalia Priora, as distinguished from the Vinalia Rustica on August 19. It was sacred to Venus and was, according to Ovid, the foundation-day of the temple of Venus Erycina. Varro and Verrius, on the other hand, agree that the day was sacred to Jupiter. It was the day on which the wine-skins were first opened, and libations from them made to Jupiter. After the libitation the wine was tasted. Wine-growers were warned not to bring new wine into the city before the Vinalia had been proclaimed on the Nones (this notice may have had reference to the Vinalia in August). The ritual was intended to secure the vintage that was to follow against malignant influences. Also called Veneri Erycinae.
  • 24: Feriae Latinae
    A moveable feast (feriae conceptivae), but usually around this time. It is the great Latin festival, in honor of Jupiter Latiaris. It was not held in Rome but on the Alban Mount, under direct supervision of the Roman state. The Roman consul offered a libitation of milk, while the deputies of other cities brought sheep, cheeses, or other such offerings. The main rite was the slaughter of a pure white heifer that had never felt the yoke. It was slaughtered by the consul, on behalf of the whole number of cities. Its flesh was divided amongst all the deputies and consumed by them. A general festivity followed the sacrifice, while oscilla, or little puppets, were hung from the branches of trees. Originally the festival lasted one day, but was afterwards extended to four.
  • 25: Robigalia
    The festival held in order to protect grain fields against red rust or mildew which attacks cerials when the ear is beginning to be formed. This was believed to be caused by a malignant spirit called Robigus. On or near this day a sacrifice of reddish suckling whelps was made, and an augury from their exta. It is not certain that these puppies were offered to Robigus, but they may have been an animal representation of the corn and the rite a piece of "sympathetic magic." It was supposed to have been instituted by Numa. Later the festival became obscured and gave way to the horse races mentioned in the Praenestine calendar.
  • 28 - May 3: Floralia
    Or Florae or Ludi Florales. In 238 BCE in consequence of a dearth, the Sibylline Books were consulted, and games in honor of Flora were held for the first time by the plebeian aediles. The prostitutes (meretrices) of Rome hailed this as their feastday, as well as the Vinalia on the 23rd. On the last day of the games, which lasted six days, hares and goats were let loose in the Circus Maximus, which probably symbolized fertility. Another custom was to vegetables, beans, and lupines were scattered (or thrown) among the people in the circus. In the Republican era the Floralia began on April 27.

May

  • 1: Bonae Deae
    The anniversary of the temple of Bona Dea on the Aventine.
  • 1: Laralia
    Or Laribus (praestitibus), a festival in honor of the Lares Praestites, the tutelaries of the city of Rome.
  • 9: Lemuria
    A private and domestic rite for the propitiation of the dead. The father of the family would rise at midnight, and with bare feet and washed hands, making a peculiar sign with his fingers and thumbs to keep of the ghosts, walk through the house. He has black beans in his mouth, and these he spits out, looking the other way, and saying, "With these I redeem me and mine." Nine times he does this without looking round; then comes the ghosts behind him, and gather up the beans unseen. He proceeds to wash again and to make a noise with brass vessels; and after nine times repeating the formula "manes exite paterni," he at last looks round, and the ceremony is over. Because of this festival to the dead, the whole month of May was supposed to be unlucky for marriages. The Lemuria was said to have been originally instituted by Romulus to appease the spirit of Remus.
  • 11: Lemuria
    The second day of the festival for the propitiation of the dead.
  • 13: Lemuria
    The third day of the festival for the propitiation of the dead.
  • 14: Sacra Argeorum
    The second procession of the Argei. It also the anniversary of the temple of Mars Invictus.
  • 15: Mercuralia
    A feastday in honor of Mercury. According to Ovid's Fasti, on this day merchants visited the well near the Porta Capena and with its water sprinkled themselves and their merchandise, that they might be purified and yield a large profit. The day is also called Feriae Iovi Mercurio Maiae (since the Ides of every month were sacred to Jupiter).
  • 21: Vediovi
    On of the Agonalia. A day sacred to Veiovis (Veidiovis), peculiar to Rome and Bovillae. Little is known about the cult and its rituals.
  • 23: Feriae Volcano
    A festival in honor of Vulcan. There is possibly an association with the goddess Maia (Bona Dea) who was addressed in invocations as Maia Volcani. The Flamen Volcanalis sacrificed to Bona Dea on May 1.
  • 23: Tubilustrium
    The second day of the Tubilustrium, a festival in honor of Mars. On this day, the holy trumpets (tubae) were cleansed.
  • 25: Fortunae Publicae Populi Romani
    The dedication-day of one of the three temple of Fortuna on the Quirinal.
  • 29: Ambarvalia
    Originally a religious procession round the land of the early Roman community in order to purity the crops from evil influences. The leading feature in the original rite was the procession of victims — bull, sheep, and pig — all round the fields, driven by a garlanded crowd. This was done three times, and at the end of the third round the animals were sacrificed. The crowd danced and sang the praise of Ceres and offered her libations of milk, honey, and wine. The Ambarvalia was a feriae conceptivae, usually held at the end of May.

June

  • 1: Fabrariue calendae
    The day in honor of Carna, the goddess of the hinge. The day was so called from fabae (beans) and bacon being offered to her.
  • 1: Iuno Monetae
    The dies natalis of the temple of Juno Moneta.
  • 3: Bellonae in Circo Flaminio
    On this day the temple of Bellona was vowed by the Consul Ap. Claudio in an Etruscan war (296 BCE).
  • 4: Herculi Magno Custodi in Circo
    The day the temple of Heracles Custos was vowed (or restored).
  • 5: Dio Fidio in colle
    The dies natalis of the temple of Dius Fidius on the Quirinal, said to have been vowed by Tarquinius Superbus, and dedicated by Sp. Postumius in 466 BCE.
  • 7: Ludi Piscatorii
    A festival of the fishermen and the divers of the whole bed of the Tiber. It was held each year by the praetor urbanus.
  • 7 - 15: Vestalia
    The festival of Vesta, celebrated from June 7 to June 15. During these days marriages might not be celebrated, and the priestess of Jupiter might not hold any intercourse with her husband, cut her hair, or pare her nails. On June 7, the penus Vestae, which was shut all the rest of the year, was thrown open to all matrons. During the seven following days they crowded to it barefoot. Offerings of food were carried into the temple and the Vestals themselves offered the sacred cakes made of the first ears of corn plucked in early May. Bakers and millers kept holiday, all mills were garlanded, and donkeys decorated with wreaths and cakes. June 9, was a dies religiosus to Vesta. On June 15, the temple was swept and the refuge taken away and either thrown into the Tiber or deposited in some particular spot.
  • 8: Menti in Capitolio
    The day the temple of Mens was vowed by praetor T. Otacilius in 217 BCE, after the battle of Trasimenus.
  • 11: Matralia
    The festival of mothers, celebrated in the temple of Mater Matuta on the Forum Boarium. Only the wife of a first marriage could place a wreath on the image of the goddess; no female slaves were allowed in the temple, except one, who was driven out of it with a box on the ear. The sacred cakes offered were cooked in old-fashioned earthenware. Women are said to have prayed to this goddess for the nephews and nieces in the first place, and for their own children only in the second.
  • 13: Feriae Iovi
    A day sacred to Jupiter. On this day the collegium or guild of the tibicines feasted in the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. Also called Quinquatrus minisculae, because of the feast of the tibicines was associated with their patron Minerva.
  • 20: Summano ad circum maximum
    The date of the foundation of the temple of Summanus, probably between 278 and 275 BCE.
  • 24: Forti Fortunae
    A festival of Fors Fortuna, and according to Ovid, a time of great revelry for the plebs. A pilgrimage was made down the river by land and water on the anniversary of the foundation of her temple.
  • 25 - 26: Ludi Taurei
    The Taurian Games, held every five years in honor of the Di Inferi, the gods of the underworld. They took place at the Circus Flaminius in Rome and included horse races and bull fights. The games were, according to legend, instituted to placate the gods of the underworld who were held responsible for sending a plague during the reign of Tarquinius Superbus (535-509 BCE). The date was probably did not have a fixed date.
  • 29: Hercules Musarum
    The dies natalis of the temple of Hercules Musarum (Hercules of the Muses).

July

  • 5: Poplifugia
    The day of the people's flight, celebrated, according to some, in commemoration of the flight of the Roman from an army of their neighbors of Fidenae, after the retirement of the Gauls from the city. Others interpret it as a memorial of the flight of the people after the disapperance of Romulus in the darkness of an eclipse.
  • 6 - 13: Ludi Apollinares
    The Games of Apollo. They were instituted in 212 BCE for a single occasion only, at the most dangerous period of the war with Hannibal, when he had taken Tarentum and invaded Campania. They were renewed in 208 BCE and made permanent. The games were held in the Circus Maximus.
  • 7: Ancillarum Feriae
    The Festival of the Serving Women. After the sack of Rome by the Gauls, the Romans were ordered to send out their women for the amusement of the standing army. A servant girl, named Philotis, offered that she and the other serving girls go in the place of the men's wives. Dressed as Rome's finest, they went to their captors. After the Gauls had had their way with them and had fallen asleep, the girls disarmed them and signaled the Roman men to attack. The battle was won and the day was set aside to forever honor the serving woman.
  • 7: Nonae Caprotinae
    "The Nones of the Wild Fig." A festival in honor of Caprotina (Juno) to commemorate the delivery of Rome from the Gauls by the slaves who gave warning from a caprificus or wild fig-tree.
  • 8: Vitulatio
    A day to mark the thank-offerings of the pontiffs for the delivery of Rome from the Gauls.
  • 14 - 19: Mercatus
    Not a religious holiday but a series of market fairs, following the Ludi Apollinares.
  • 15: Transvectio equitum
    A procession of the Roman cavalry, held on the Ides of July.
  • 17: Honos et Virtus
    The dies natalis of the temple of Honos and Virtus.
  • 18: Dies Alliensis
    The day which marked the defeat of the Roman by the Gauls at the Battle of the Allia (390 BCE). It was ever after regarded disastrous, an unlucky day in the Roman calendar, and it was forbidden to transact any business on it.
  • 19: Lucaria
    A festival whose ritual and original meaning is lost, even to the Romans in Varro's time. It may have been a festival of the grove.
  • 21: Lucaria
    The second day of the Lucaria.
  • 22: Concordia
    The dies natalis of the temple of Concordia at the foot of the Capitol.
  • 23: Neptunalia
    A two-day festival in honor of Neptune, accompanied by games. It took place in the heat of summer, and booths or huts made of the foliage of trees were used to keep sun off the worshippers.
  • 25: Furrinalia
    A public festival in honor of the goddess Furrina. Little is known of either.
  • 30: Fortunae Huiusque Diei
    The dies natalis of the temple of Fortuna Huiusque Diei (Fortuna of This Day).

August

  • 1: Spei ad Forum Holitorium
    The dies natalis of the temple of Spes (Hope) in the Forum Holitorium.
  • 3: Supplica canum
    The "punishment of the dogs," a dog sacrifice in the temples of Juventas and Summanus. It seems to have been connected to the siege of the Gauls.
  • 5: Saluti in colle Quirinale sacrificium publicum
    The day of the foundation of the temple of Salus, in 302 BCE, during the Samnite wars. There was a public sacrifice that day in the temple.
  • 9: Soli Indigiti in colle Quirinale
    Or Solis Indigitis in colle Quirinale sacrificium publicum, a public sacrifice to Sol on the Quirinal, which was believed to be of Sabine origin.
  • 12: Herculi Invicto ad Circum Maximum
    Or Herculi Magno Custodi in Circo Flaminio. The yearly rites of the ara maxima and of the aedes Herculis in the Forum Boarium. A heifer was sacrificed to Hercules Invictus.
  • 13: Feriae Iovi
    Dianae in Aventino. Sacrum Daenae. Herculi Invicto ad Portam Trigeminam. Castori Polluci in Circo Faminio. Florae ad Circum Maximum. A conjunction of many cults, but this day was primarily known as that of the dedication of the temple of Diana on the Aventine.
  • 13: Vortumnalia
    Vortumno in Aventino. A festival in honor of Vertumnus, denoting the transition from autumn to winter.
  • 17: Iano ad theatrum Marcelli
    The dies natalis of the temple of Janus.
  • 17: Portunalia
    Or Tiberinalia, the festival of Portunus, the protecting genius of harbors and wharves on the Tiber at Roman and those at Ostia. At Rome it was celebrated by the Pons Aemilius.
  • 19: Vinalia
    The Vinalia Rustica, the second festival of Venus; both August 19 and April 23 were dedication days of temples of the goddess. According to Festus, on this day the new wine was first brought into the city.
  • 21: Consualia
    A harvest festival in honor of Consus. On this day horses and asses were exempt from labor and were decked out with flowers. There were also horse races in the Circus Maximus; mules also raced. There might be a connection to the rape of the Sabine women, in which a festive occasion of this kind may have been a favorable opportunity for capturing new wives. Since Consus had no flamen of his own, his sacrifice was performed by the Flamen Quirinalis in the presence of the Vestals. The same flamen also sacrificed a dog to Robigus on April 25, which points to the agricultural origin of the Consualia.
  • 23: Volcanalia
    The Feriae Volcano, a festival of the god Vulcan. On this day the heads of Roman families threw into the fire certain small fish with scales which were to be had from the Tiber fishermen at the "area Volcani." After the great fire at Rome in Nero's time, a new altar was erected to Vulcan by Domitian at which (and at all Volcanalia) on this day a red calf and a boar were offered for sacrifice. The fire god was particularly propiated to protect the storehouses at Ostia, which would be full of grain and which in that hot month would be especially in danger from fire.
  • 24: Lunae
    Sacrifices were made on this day to Luna on the Graecostais.
  • 24: Mundus patet
    The mysterious pit called the mundus was opened.
  • 25: Opiconsivia
    Or Feriae Opi, a religious festival in honor of Ops Consivae at the Regia, marking the end of the harvest period. It was superintended by the Vestal virgins.
  • 27: Volturnalia
    An ancient rite dedicated to Volturnus. Later Latin scholers seem to know nothing about it, or they did not think it worth comment. The Flamen Volturnalis made a sacrifice this day.

September

  • 1: Iovi Tontant
    On this day a ceremony took place for Jupiter Tonans in his temple near the Capitoline Hill.
  • 1: Iuno Regina
    This day included a ceremony to Juno Regina in her temple on the Aventine Hill.
  • 5: Iovi Statori
    The dies natalis of a temple of Jupiter Stator.
  • 5 - 19: Ludi Romani
    The Roman Games, held in honor of Jupiter since 366 BCE. Originally they were a three day event, from September 12 to 14. Also called Ludi Magni.
  • 13: Epulum Jovis
    Feriae Iovi. Iovi epulum. The dies natalis of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. A sumptuous feast offered to Jupiter on this day.
  • 14: Equorum probatio
    The Approval of the Horses, a cavalry parade.
  • 20 - 23: Mercatus
    A series of market fairs, following the Ludi Romani.
  • 23: Apollo
    The anniversary of the rededication of the temple of Apollo in the Campus Martius.
  • 26: Venus Genitrix
    The dies natalis of the temple of Venus Genitrix, which was vowed by Julius Caesar.

October

  • 1: Fidei in Capitolio
    Ceremonies for Fides at the Capitol, and the Tigillum Sororium (Tigillo sororio ad compitum Acili).
  • 4: Ieiunium Cereris
    The "Fast of Ceres," instituted in 191 BCE in honor of Ceres.
  • 5: Mundus patet
    The second day on which the mundus was opened.
  • 7: Iovi Fulguri. Iunoni Curriti in campo
    The rites for Jupiter Fulgur and Juno Curitis.
  • 11: Meditrinalia
    The day on which the new wine was tasted. There is no real evidence of a goddess Meditrina and the festival was doubtless associated with Jupiter.
  • 12: Augustalia
    A festival celebrated in honor of the divinized Augustus. It was established in 14 CE.
  • 13: Fontinalia
    The festival in honor of Fontus, the god of wells and springs. The original object of the garlanding was probably to secure abundant water. Also called Feriae Fonti.
  • 15: Sacrifice of the October Horse
    Equus ad nixas fit. On this day was a two-horse chariot race in the Campus Martius; the near horse of the winning pair was sacrificed to Mars, presumably with a spear. The tail of the horse was cut off and carried with haste to the Regia so that the warm blood might drip upon the focus or sacred hearth there. The head was also cut off and decked with cakes.
  • 19: Armilustrium
    The last day on which the Salii appeared. The arma and ancilia were now purified and put away for the winter. The place of lustratio on this day was, according to Varro, the Aventine "ad circum maximum," but this was probably the last point in a procession of the Salii.
  • 26 - November 1: Ludi Victoriae Sullanae
    The Victory Games of Sulla, established by the dictator Sulla. They became an annual event in 81 BCE.

November

  • 1: Ludi Cirences
    The closing day of the Ludi Victoriae Sullanae.
  • 4 - 17: Ludi Plebeii
    The Plebeian Games, which included theatrical performances and athletic competitions, and which was held in the Circus Flaminius, in the Campus Martius. They are mentioned as early as 216 BCE, and lasted till the fourth century CE.
  • 8: Mundus patet
    The third day on which the mundus was opened.
  • 13: Epulum Jovis
    Feriae Iovi. Iovi epulum. Ceremonies in honor of Jupiter.
  • 13: Feroniae
    A feast day of Feronia, a popular goddess in Latium and central Italy but not so much in Rome. It falls in the middle of the plebeian games, but was probably there before them.
  • 13: Fortunae Primigeniae in colle
    Ceremonies in honor of Fortuna Primigenia.
  • 14: Equorum probatio
    The second day of the Approval of the Horses, the first parade was held on July 15.
  • 18 - 20: Mercatus
    A series of market fairs.

December

  • 1: Fortunae muliebri
    Ceremonies to Fortuna Muliebris.
  • 1: Neptuno Pietati
    Ceremonies for Neptune and Pietas at the Circus Maximus.
  • 3: Sacra Bonae Deae
    Women's sacrifice to Bona Dea, on the night between December 3 and 4.
  • 5: Faunalia
    The Faunalia Rustica, a festival in honor of Faunus on the Nones of November, celebrated also on the Ides of February. Peasents brought him rustic offerings and amused themselves with dancing.
  • 8: Tiberino in insula
    A festival in honor of Tiberinus.
  • 11: Agonalia
    Agonia Inui, or Agonalia for Indiges.
  • 11: Septimontium
    An obscure, pre-urban festival associated with the seven hills of Rome. According to Festus, a sacrifice was offered on each of the seven hills.
  • 12: Conso in Aventino
    Ceremonies at the temple of Consus on the Aventine Hill.
  • 13: Telluri et Cereri in Carinis
    The dies natalis of the temple of Tellus, and a propitiatory ceremony to Ceres.
  • 15: Consualia
    The winter rites of Consus, arising from the habit of inspecting the condition of the corn-stores in mid-winter.
  • 17 - 23: Saturnalia
    The original day of the Saturnalia, and in a religious sense, the only day. The festival was later extended to as much as seven days. It is difficult to determine what features in the festival were really of old Latin origin, for both Saturn himself and his cult came to be heavily overlaid with Greek ideas and practice. During the Saturnalia, no public businesses could be transacted, the law courts were closed, schools kept holiday, etc. Slaves of each domestic establishment were granted special indulgences: they were relieved from all ordinary toils, were permitted to wear the pilleus (the badge of freedom), were granted full freedom of speech, partook of a banquet attired in the clothes of their masters, and were waited upon by them at table. The public festival began with a sacrificium publicum in front of the temple of Saturn in the Forum; in private the day began with the sacrifice of a young pig; all ranks devoted themselves to feasting and mirth, presents were interchanged among friends, and crowds thronged the streets, shouting "Io Saturnalia." Public gambling was allowed by the aediles.
  • 18: Eponalia
    The festival of Epona, the horse goddess, celebrated on the second day of the Saturnalia.
  • 19: Opalia
    A festival of Ops concerned with the storage of grain. Her worshipers paid their vows sitting, and touched the earth.
  • 21: Divalia
    Or Angeronalia, the festival in honor of Angerona. On this day pontiffs performed sacrifices in the temple of Voluptia, the goddess of joy and pleasure, supposedly to drive away all the sorrow of life.
  • 22: Laribus permarinis in porticu Minucia
    The dies natalis of the temple of the Lares Permarini in the Porticus Minucia.
  • 23: Larentalia
    The festival celebrated in honor of Acca Larentia, the nurse of Romulus and Remus, or, according to others, in honor of the Lares.
  • 23: Sigillaria
    The last day of the Saturnalia. This day was devoted to the giving of gifts.
  • 25: Brumalia
    A winter solstice festival in honor of Saturn and Ceres, to whom pigs were sacrificed. It further included feasting, drinking, and merriment. In the Byzantine era the Brumalia commenced on November 24.
  • 25: Dies Natalis Solis Invicti
    The "birthday of the unconquered sun," the date after the winter solstice.


Sources

  • Fowler, William Warde. 1908. The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic. London: MacMillan and Co., Ltd.
  • Ovid. Fasti i - vi.
  • Peck, Harry Thurston. 1898. Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
  • Smith, William (Ed.). 1890. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. London: John Murray.
  • Smith, William (Ed.). 1873. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology. London: John Murray.