Festivals of Martio

Di benedicaris vos.

I A Mar. – Matronalia
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.


XV G Mar. – Festival of Anna Perenna
The Festival of Anna Perenna celebrates the Roman diety for the ring of the year — Anna Perenna. There was a fountain and a grove to Her which, during the festival, Romans would attend to worship Her. She was celebrated outdoors as citizens pitched tents. With cups of wine, the supplicants would ask Anna Perenna to bestow upon them more years to come and Her worship sought to “complete the circle of the year happily”, or “ut annare perannareque commode liceat“. It was during one of the great Secessions of the Plebs that an older woman came to attend the plebeians, who left Rome to the patricians only, and she later was worshipped as Anna Perenna.
In Sandus, we see to it that the new Sancta year will be fortunate for us.

XVI H Mar. – Liberalia
The Liberalia was celebrated in two fashions in both the urban and rural regions of Rome. In the cities, this was the day of the legal liberation of men, when they could take off their bullae — pedants for their protection against harmful forces — and would become legal men. In the countryside, it was a mostly fertility rite through which a standard with a phallus on top was taken via procession throughout the farmland, rites to Liber Pater (Free Father, a friend of Dionysos) were held, and eventually the phallus was topped by a floral garland on the top before a bacchic party was had.
In Sandus, we’re far less drunken. On this day, we address Liber and Libera for the liberty of our entire State and the liberty of peoples within our society.


XIX-XXIII C-G Mar. – Quinquatria
The Quinquatria is a five day long festival to the Sandum patroness Athena that begins on the 19th of March. The Quinquatria is divided into three specific time periods: the Minervalia, the greater Quinquatria, and the Tubilustrium. The first day, the Minervalia, is commemorated as the day of birth of Athena, which was originally celebrated on this day alone. Eventually, the festival would be extended to three days and, eventually, five. The Quinquatria falls four days following the Ides of March, perhaps giving the name to the greater festival. From the Minervalia to the Tubilustrium (the period of the greater Quinquatria), worshippers would be especially devoted to Athena. The final day, the Tubilustrium, is a disputed day: to some, it was originally dedicated to Mars and blest the tubae for the legions; to others, it was a festival by which the flutes used in rites would be blest.
In Sandus, the Minervalia is the most important day, but the rest of the Quinquatria is used to further invoke and pray to Athena up until the Tubilustrium, where we remember Her as the goddess and patron of the arts.


XXV A Mar. – Hilaria
The Hilaria is a grand festival to the Magna Mater, Cybele. As there are other Hilariae, this Hilaria is especially commemorated as Hilaria Matris Deum. The rites to this particular festival were lamenting for the first few days and were joyful after the Hilaria. The Hilaria began on the Ides, when a reed would enter Rome and the Magna Mater’s temple, symbolic of Attis — Cybele’s lover — and a fasting period from bread, pomegranates, pork, fish, and wine would begin until the day of the Hilaria. Only milk would be used as a beverage. On the 22nd, a pine tree — similar to the one Cybele felled after sacrificing a ram — would then enter the city by a funeral procession. From then until the Day of Blood, a festival of frenzied whipping and when castration rites would be had for the burial of the tree, mourning would be had. Finally, the Hilaria celebrated the resurrection of Attis as a god and it would be a joy-filled day. The next day would be a day of rest; Marcus Aurelius added the Day of Washing on the 27th, and there is dispute over if there was a celebration on the 28th at a Vatican shrine to Cybele.
In Sandus, we celebrate the Magna Mater primarily as a Queen of Gods in Her own right and mourn Attis for the resurrection of the earth through spring.

XXX F Mar. – Festival of Salus
This festival is dedicated to the Roman goddess of health, prosperity, and well-being of both the individual and the state, Salus. Her Greek equivalent is Hygieia, but both were very much different: whereas Salus was the goddess of social health linked to social prosperity and well-being, Hygieia was primarily the goddess of personal health.

XXXI G Mar. – Festival of Selene
This festival is dedicated to the Roman and Greek goddess of the moon and all light in the night, Selene.


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