Thursday, February 21, 2008

Feast of the Feralia, ancient Rome

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
The general festival of the dead kept in February, either February 21 or 22. Manes - spirits of the dead, worshipped as divinities - were said to hover above graves on this day, and provisions were put out for them. (As minor spirits, manes were similar to the Lares, Genii and Di Penates, and the word also means metaphorically 'underworld' or 'realm of death'.) Today was the last day of the Roman year in which to placate ghosts; on February 22 the living were appeased.

Today the temples would be opened at noon. The Feralia was a religious holiday sacred to Jupiter, whose surname was Feretrius. On this day the ongoing celebrations forming part of the dies parentalis (Parentalia) and the time of religious devotion, tempus religiosum, came to a close.

The Feralia was instituted by Numa Pompilius (pictured) ...

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