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Roman festivals

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Roman holidays generally were celebrated to worship and celebrate a certain god or mythological occurrence, and consisted of religious observances, various festival traditions and usually a large feast. The most important festivals were the Saturnalia, the Consualia, the Lupercalia and the rites of the Bona Dea. Among the most useful sources for Ancient Roman holidays is Ovid's Fasti, a poem that documents in detail the festivals of January to June at the time of Augustus.

The list below is organized by date. Some of these festivals were instituted in different eras. When possible, the initial date is stated.


Ianuarius


  • January 9 – the first Agonalia, in honor of the god Janus, after whom the month January is named and to whom the Romans prayed for advice.

  • January 11 and January 15 – Carmentalia

  • January 24 to January 26 – Sementivae (in the country called Paganalia)

Februarius


  • February 13 to 22 – Parentalia, in honour of the ancestors

  • February 13 to February 15 – Lupercalia, in honour of Faunus

  • February 17 – Quirinalia, in honour of Quirinus

  • February 22 – Feralia

  • February 23 – Terminalia, in honour of Terminus

Martius


  • March 1 –

    • Roman New Year

    • Matronalia in honour of Juno

    • Feriae Marti in honour of Mars

    • The sacred fire of Rome was renewed (See Vesta)

  • March 14 – Equirria

  • March 15 and 16 – Bacchanalia, in honour of Bacchus

  • March 17 - Agonalia in honour of Mars

  • March 19 to 23 – Quinquatria, in honour of Minerva

  • March 23 – Tubilustrium, in honor of Mars

  • March 30 – Festival of Salus

Aprilis


  • April 1 – Veneralia, in honour of Venus

  • April 4 to 10 – Ludi Megalenses/Megalesia, in honor of Cybele (since 191 BC, brought to Rome in 203 BC)

  • April 12 to 19 – Ludi Cereales, games in honour of Cerealia (since 202 BC)

  • April 15 - Fordicia, in honour of Terra

  • April 21 - Parilia, in honour of Pales

  • April 25 - Robigalia, in honour of Robigus, with foot races

  • April 28 to May 1 – Ludi Florales (Floralia), games in honour of Flora

Maius


  • May 1 – Festival of the Bona Dea

  • May 9 – Feast of the Larvae (lemures)

  • May 15 - Mercuralia, in honour of Mercury

  • May 21 - Veiovis, one of the four Agonalia

Iunius


  • June 3 – Festival in honour of Bellona

  • June 7 to 15 – Vestalia, in honour of Vesta

  • June 13 – Quinquatrus minusculae, in honour of Minerva

  • June 20 – Festival in honour of Summanus

Iulius


  • July 5 – Poplifugia, festival in honour of Jupiter

  • July 6 to 13 – Ludi Apollinares, games in honour of Apollo (since 208 BC)

  • July 7 – Nonae Caprotinae Juno; also the sacerdotes publici sacrificed to Consus

  • July 9 – Caprotinia

  • July 18 – day of bad omens: defeat in Allia (390 BC) that led to the sack of Rome by the Gauls

  • July 19 – Lucaria

  • July 23 – Neptunalia held in honour of Neptune

Augustus


  • August 10 - Opalia in honour of Ops

  • August 13 - Vertumnalia in honour of Vertumnus

  • August 13 - Nemoralia, the festival of Torches, in honor of Diana

  • August 17 - Portunalia in honour of Portunes

  • August 19 - Vinalia Rustica in honour of Venus, commemorating the founding of the oldest known temple to her, on the Esquiline Hill, in 293 BC

  • August 21 – Consualia, games and races in honour of Consus

  • August 23 – Vulcanalia in honour of Vulcan

  • August 24 - one of 3 days on which the mundus was opened

  • August 25 - Opiconsivia in honour of Ops

  • August 27 – Volturnalia in honour of Volturnus

  • September

  • September - Septimontium.

  • September 4 to 19 – Ludi Romani, games for the people of Rome to the honour of Jupiter, organized by the curule aedile (since 366 BC)

October


  • October 4 - Ieiunium Cereris: Fast of Ceres, instituted in 191 BC; at that time that date fell in late spring

  • October 5 - one of 3 days on which the mundus was opened

  • October 6 - day of bad omens: anniversary of the battle of Arausio (105 BC)

  • October 11 - Meditrinalia in honour of Meditrina

  • October 13 - festival dedicated to Fontus

  • October 15 – Equirria, the "equus October" sacrificed to Mars in the Campus Martius

  • October 19 - Armilustrium in honour of Mars

November


  • November 1 - Pomonia in honor of the orchard goddess Pomona.

  • November 4 to 17 – Ludi Plebeii, games for the people of Rome organized by the curule aedile (since 216 BC)

  • November 13 - Epulum Jovis

  • November 15 - Festival in honour of Feronia

  • November 24 - Brumalia

December


  • December 4 – Bona Dea rites, exclusive to women

  • December 5 – Faunalia in honour of Faunus

  • December 11 - Agonalia for Sol Indiges ; Septimontium

  • December 15 - Consualia in honour of Consus

  • December 17 – Saturnalia in honour of Saturn

  • December 18 - Eponalia in honour of Epona

  • December 19 - Opalia in honour of Ops

  • December 21 - Divalia in honour of Angerona

  • December 23 - Larentalia in honour of Larenta

  • December 25 - Dies Natalis Invicti Solis (Festival of the invincible sun God, Sol Invictus)

References


  • Fowler, W. Warde (1899). The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic: An Introduction to the Study of the Religion of the Romans. London: Macmillan and Co.. Retrieved on 2007-03-24. 

  • Scullard, H. H. (1981). Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-40041-5. 



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