Friday, July 08, 2011

July 8: Vitulatio, Day of Joy

Vitulatio, Day of Joy, Roman Empire (Jul 8 - 9)
Today's festival honoured Vitula, the personified goddess of joy, exaltation, mirth and victory. It is believed this day celebrates the victory of the Romans over the Etruscans, the calamities preceding the Populifugia ('Flight of the People', July 5). 
Chanting and singing for joy and the fruits of the Earth were offered by the pontifices (priests) to the goddess, who might be a tutelary Goddess of life (vita). However, Macrobius refers also to the calf (vitula) which Virgil (October 15, 70 - 19 BCE) says were to be offered "pro frugibus" (for the fruits). Sacrifices were offered to Jupiter as well, and games were held.
It is likely that the words 'violin' and 'fiddle' derive from the Latin vitularia, 'celebrate joyfully', which in turn derives from the name and character of the goddess. Prehistoric West and North German borrowed it as 'fithulon', and thus the German word 'fiedel', the Dutch 'vedel', and the English 'fiddle'. Roman festivals and notable days in the Book of Days    Deities of many cultures in the Book of Days


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