Di benedicaris vos.
The Regifugia and the Matronalia are two Roman festivals at the end and start of the new year, respectively, in both the ancient Roman and modern Sancta calendars. They are two independent festivals: the Regifugia is the festival in which the Rex Sacrorum prayed at the Comitium and, upon finishing, hastily fled as his office is one with a lineage to the deposed Kings; the Matronalia is a festival to Juno Lucentia, the goddess of mothers and childbirth.
The Roman Regifugium was celebrated on the 24th of February when the rex sacrorum — an office used to replace the Roman kings’ power in religious affairs — would officiate rites at the Comitium, where the Republic met. From there, he would hastily flee the Comitium, a symbol of the expulsion of the last Roman King Tarquinus.
In Sandus, we celebrate the Regifugia for a different light. As the Sôgmô is the rex sacrorum of our Collegio Sacerdae and the annually elected rex of our State, it is the Sacra Flameno who addresses the State through speech in Sancta, the cultural language of Sandus that is often used in rites, so as to expel the old year and welcome the new. With this rite complete, the holiday is mostly finished except for private observances of the new year.
With roots dating back to the peace between the Romans and the Sabines, the Matronalia is dedicated to Juno and her epithet Lucentia: “Juno who brings children into light”. On this day, Romans would celebrate their mothers and the mothers of their children foremost: women would participate in rituals at temples dedicated to Juno, they would wear their hair loose (a relaxation of Roman decorum), and were not allowed to tie themselves up with knots or belts. At home, mothers would receive gifts from husbands and daughters and the husbands would pray for their wives.
In Sandus, we have yet to establish such customs — perhaps given the scarcity of women amongst us, much like the Romans before the Rape of the Sabines. We do, however, celebrate both our mothers and our lovers on this day, as a sort of Mother’s Day. In the future of our State and nation, we must prepare to begin customs and traditions on this day, as well.