roman festivals calendar list

Roman Festivals Calendar

Roman Festivals Calendar List – 365 Day Roman Calendar

Roman festivals took place over eleven centuries of Roman history which saw changes in the Roman calendar from the 10 month 304 day year when king Romulus founded Rome in 753 BCE to the more familiar Julian calendar, used from 45 BCE until 1582, which is broadly similar to the Gregorian calendar we still use today. With that in mind you should understand many of the Roman festivals and religious events listed in ADDucation list of Roman festivals didn’t all happen every year – or even century. We’ve included some “Feriae conceptivae” movable Roman festivals along with some Latin terms used on Roman calendars, which are explained below the table.

ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort Roman festivals. Click the + icon to show any hidden columns. Set your browser to full screen and zoom out to display as many columns as possible. Start typing in the Filter table box to find anything inside the table. For example type “September” to only show September Roman festivals or “Juno” to find Roman festivals connected to Juno.

DayRoman FestivalsRoman Festival ActivitiesDay TypeDay NumberHonoringRoman Festivals Purpose, Importance & Events
JanuaryJanuary was sacred to Janus. The “ary” suffix means “pertaining to”. January was the start of the Roman annual religious cycle.
1 January
Kalends
Juno sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies fastus[F]Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
New Year’s Day (Anno Novo)Public religious ceremony, sacrifices, processionJupiter, Juno, Janus, SalusA procession to the Temple of Jupiter on Capitoline Hill dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva is followed by (New Year’s) vows and sacrifices of white heifers (cows) to each and also to Salus for the health of the Republic and the Senate.
Aesculapius temple ceremonytemple ceremonydies fastus[F]AesculapiusTemple ceremony in honor of Aesculapius, the main Roman demigod of health, truth and prosperity, on Tiber island. It was important to gain Aesculapius’ favor for the year ahead.
Fortuna sacred daySacred day, sacrificesFortunaFortuna sacred day.
Vejovis festival and temple ceremony (1 of 3)Roman festivals, temple ceremonydies fastus[F]
1 of 3
VejovisVejovis is the Roman god of healing and medicine and one of the oldest Roman gods so his favor was important to start the new year. Vejovis had a temple on Tiber island and another between the two peaks of Capitoline Hill. 3 Vejovis Roman festivals are held each year, the other two are on 7 March and 21 May.
2 Januarydies fastus[F]
3 Januarydies comitialis[C]
4 Januarydies comitialis[C]
5 JanuaryVica Pota temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonydies fastus[F]Vica PotaAnniversary of the shrine to Vica Pota at the foot of Velian Hill, close to the Regia. Vica Pota was an early Roman goddess who became overshadowed by Victoria, probably because her traits “vincere” (conquer) and “potiri” (get possession of) were identified with Victoria.
Juno Covella sacred daySacred dayJuno Covellathe Pontifex Minor invokes Iuno Covella, an epithet of Juno, on the fifth day of the month
6 JanuaryProserpina Roman festivalRoman festivaldies fastus[F]ProserpinaFestival to honor Proserpina, the Roman goddess of springtime and Queen of the underworld.
7 Januarydies comitialis[C]
8 JanuaryJusticia sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies comitialis[C]JusticiaJusticia is the Roman goddess of justice, often called “Lady Justice”. Commonly depicted in Western cultures with scales and a sword and sometimes blindfolded symbolizing “Blind Justice”.
9 JanuaryAgonalia festivalRoman festivals, sacrifices, religious ceremonynefastus publicus[NP]
1 of 4
Janus, Liber Pater, Vediovius, Sol IndigesThe Agonalia religious Roman festivals were held at the Regia, near the Forum in the center of Rome. The Rex Sacrorum “king of the sacred” sacrificed a ram to Janus. Four Agonaliae Roman festivals were held during the year, the other three were held on 17 March, 21 May and 11 December.
10 Januarydies comitialis[C]
11 JanuaryJuturna temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonynefastus publicus[NP]JuturnaJuturna was the Roman goddess of prophetic waters, fountains, wells. springs and she also looked after Rome’s water system. Juturna’s anniversary was celebrated at her temple at the Aqua Virgo aqueduct, built by Agrippa in 19 BCE, on the Campus Martius.
Carmentalia festival (2 day festival with a 3 day gap to please the gods).Roman festivals, temple ceremonynefastus publicus[NP]
Day 1 of 2
Carmenta, Antevorta, PostvortaThe Carmentalia Roman Festival to Carmenta (Roman goddess of childbirth and prophecy and protector of mothers and children) was celebrated by (mostly) women devotees at her temple on Capitoline Hill where leather was not allowed. Vestal Virgins drew water from her spring at the Porta Carmentalis. Carmenta was invoked as her epithets Antevorta and Postvorta to see into the future and past.
12 Januarydies comitialis[C]
13 January
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)Religious roman festivals, sacred day, temple ceremony, public sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]JupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
14 JanuaryEndotercisus
15 JanuaryCarmentalia festival: Feast of the AssRoman festivals, religious ceremony, sacrifices, feastingnefastus publicus[NP][NP]
Day 2 of 2
CarmentaThe Flamen Carmentalis and Pontifices offer sacrifices at the shrine of Carmenta next to the Porta Carmentalis (double gate in the Servian Walls of ancient Rome) near the Capitol.
16 JanuaryConcordia temple anniversaryTemple anniversarydies comitialis[C]ConcordiaRe-dedication of the temple of Concordia, located near the Tabularium below the Capitoline Hill. This temple was rebuilt by Tiberius in 7 CE and re-dedicated in 10 CE.
17 JanuaryFelicitas sacred daySacred daydies comitialis[C]FelicitasFelicitas sacred day.
Janus festivalRoman festivalJanusJanus festival.
18 Januarydies comitialis[C]
19 Januarydies comitialis[C]
20 Januarydies comitialis[C]
21 Januarydies comitialis[C]
22 Januarydies comitialis[C]
23 Januarydies comitialis[C]
24 Januarydies comitialis[C]
Movable eventSementivae / Pagnalia festival (3 days) typically held 24-26 JanuaryRoman festivals, Feriae conceptivae (movable feast), oscilla hanging
Day 1
Tellus, CeresFeriae Sementivae (and Paganalia according to Ovid) was the Roman festival of sowing held on the date announced by the Curio Maximus (local priest). Tellus and Ceres are propitiated with the sacrifical offering of a pregnant sow and traditional wheat cakes on the hearths of households along with prayers to protect seeds against ants, birds, the weather and ryegrass. In some accounts Tellus was honored between 24-26 January with Ceres honored a week later, around 2 February.
25 Januarydies comitialis[C]
Movable eventSementivae / Pagnalia festival continues…Roman festivals
Day 2
Sementivae / Pagnalia festival continues…
26 Januarydies comitialis[C]
Movable eventSementivae / Pagnalia festival endsRoman festivals
Day 3
Sementivae / Pagnalia festival ends.
27 JanuaryCastor and Pollux (the Dioscuri) temple anniversaryTemple anniversarydies comitialis[C]Castor, PolluxAnniversary of the dedication of the temple of Castor and Pollux at the Forum in 484 BCE following their help securing Rome’s victory over the army of expelled King Tarquinius Superbus at Lake Regillus.
28 Januarydies comitialis[C]
29 Januarydies comitialis[C]
30 JanuaryPax Romana festival and temple anniversaryRoman festival, religious ceremony, temple anniversary, sacrificesdies comitialis[C]Pax, Janus, Concordia, SalusAugustus dedicated the open-air Ara Pacis (altar of peace) sanctuary to Pax Romana (Rome at peace) on 30 January 9 BCE. It was situated on Campus Martius, between two hills near to the river Tiber. Pax was the Roman goddess of peace and security. There’s also another Pax temple on the Forum Pacis. Blood sacrifices were carried out by magistrates, state priests (flamens) and Vestal virgins. Concordia, Janus and Salus were also invoked because their statues were grouped and worshipped together at the altar of peace. See also 30 March.
Februalia religious festivalReligious festival
Day 1
Februus, VestaThe Roman year traditionally started on the 1st March so Februalia marked the end of the Roman calendar year and was celebrated with purification rituals.
31 Januarydies comitialis[C]
Day 2
FebruaryIn the earlier Roman calendars, February was the last month of the year. Possibly named after the Februa Roman festival or februa offerings and purifications
1 February
Kalends
Juno sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies nefastus[N]
Day 3
Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
Helernus sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred day, sacrificesHelernusHelernus was a minor Roman god of the underworld. Sacrifices, including a black ox, were made to Helernus by the Roman Pontiffs at his sacred grove “lucus” near the mouth of the river Tiber.
Movable eventAmburbium festival, usually in FebruaryMovable Roman festivals, Feriae conceptivae (movable feast)dies nefastus[N]CeresAmburbium “city circuit” was a Roman movable feast, probably held annually in February, involved purification rituals and fertility rites. The feast could be public or private. Citizens chanting ambervale carmen hymns while leading a bull, a sow and a sheep in procession three times around a circuit before being sacrificed to ensure a state of blessedness.
2 FebruaryJuno Februa sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies nefastus[N]
Day 4
Juno FebruaJuno epithet, Juno Februra, is the Roman goddess of the passion of love and the mother of Mars.
Ceres Roman festivalRoman festival, sacred dayCeresFestival scared to Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain.
3 FebruaryConcordia temple ceremonyTemple ceremonydies nefastus[N]ConcordiaConcordia was the Roman goddess of concord (agreement and harmony) in marriage and society.
4 Februarydies nefastus[N]
Movable eventFornacalia festival (6-9 days) during February]Roman festivals, Feriae conceptivae (movable feast)
Day 1
FornaxFornacalia “Feast of Ovens” was a Roman religious festival which probably lasted nine days in honor of the Roman goddess Fornax (oven). Prayers were offered to Fornax asking her to help regulate the heat of the grains in ovens so bread would not be burnt during the coming year.
5 Februarydies nefastus[N]
Movable eventFornacalia festival continues…Movable Roman festivals
Day 2
Fornacalia festival continues…
6 Februarydies nefastus[N]
Movable eventFornacalia festival continues…Movable Roman festivals
Day 3
Fornacalia festival continues…
7 Februarydies nefastus[N]
Movable eventFornacalia festival continues…Movable Roman festivals
Day 4
Fornacalia festival continues…
8 Februarydies nefastus[N]
Movable eventFornacalia festival continues…Movable Roman festivals
Day 5
Fornacalia festival continues…
9 FebruaryApollo sacred day and feastSacred day, feastingdies nefastus[N]ApolloFestival sacred to Apollo, the Roman god of the sun.
Movable eventFornacalia festival ends or continues…Movable Roman festivals
Day 6
Fornacalia festival continues…
10 Februarydies nefastus[N]
Movable eventFornacalia 9 day festival continues…Movable Roman festivals
Day 7
Fornacalia festival continues…
11 Februarydies nefastus[N]
Movable eventFornacalia 9 day festival continues…Movable Roman festivals
Day 8
Fornacalia festival continues…
12 FebruaryDiana sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies nefastus[N]DianaSacred to Diana, the Roman goddess of the moon and the hunt.
13 February
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)Religious roman festivals, sacred day, temple ceremony, public sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP], dies religiosusJupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
Movable eventFornacalia 9 day festival endsMovable Roman festivals
Day 9
Fornacalia 9 day festival ends. One of the most important Roman festivals.
Faunalia festivalRoman festival, religious ceremonyFaunus, di ParentesFestival to Faunus held at his temple on Tiber island to commemorate the death of 306 Fabii patricians at the battle of Cremera on this day in 477 BCE. Faunus was a Roman god of prophecy, god of the forest, woodland, plains and fields. A preistess of Vesta conducted a rite for the collective Di Parentes of Rome at the tomb of Tarpeia. A second Faunalia Rustica festival was held in the countryside on 5 December.
Juno Februa festival (2 days) festival begins.Roman festival, orgiastic festival
Day 1
Juno FebruaOrgiastic festival to Juno Februa, the epithet of Juno connected with February, fertility, cleansing and purification.
Parentalia festival (9 days) starts.Roman festival
Day 1
Di inferi. Di Penates. The Lares. The Lemures. GeniiObserved from the Ides of February until the Feralia. During Parentalia “Dies Parentales” the Romans remembered “di Manes” the underworld gods that represent the souls of their dead ancestors. In private, at family shrines in homes, offerings were made to family ancestors. In public magistrates did not wear their togas of office, no marriages were performed and temples remained closed until the final day.
14 FebruaryJuno Lupa sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies nefastus[N]
Juno LupaSacred day dedicated to Juno Lupa, the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus in a cave near Palatine Hill.
Juno Februa festival ends
Day 2
Juno FebruaJuno Februa festival ends.
Parentalia festival continues…
Day 2
Parentalia festival continues…
15 FebruaryLupercalia festivalRoman festival, religious festival, religious ceremony, sacrifices, feastingnefastus publicus[NP], dies religiosusFaunusThe Lupercalia Roman religious festival (dies Februatus) was possibly instigated in pre-Roman times by Evander of Pallene to Faunus and may have eventually became St. Valentine’s Day in the Christian calendar. According to Roman mythology a Lupercal (female wolf) found Romulus and Remus (twin sons of Mars and priestess Rhea Silvia) on the banks of the River Tiber and suckled them at the Lupercal cave at the foot of Palatine Hill where they later founded Rome on the Palatine in 753 BCE. Starting at the Lupercal cave two goats, a dog and sacred cakes are sacrificed. The sacrificial blood was smeared over two teams of young nobles (Luperci) wearing only the skins of the sacrificed goats. They ran from the Lupercal around the Palatine striking women on the hands with with strips of sacrificial goatskin to promote fertility. Much revelry was reported. One of the most important Roman festivals.
Parentalia festival continues…
Day 3
Parentalia festival continues…
16 FebruaryParentalia festival continues…endotercisus[EN]
Day 4
Parentalia festival continues…
17 FebruaryQuirinalia festivalRoman festivalnefastus publicus[NP], dies religiosusQuirinusQuirinalia “Feast of fools” Roman festival to Quirinus, an early god of the Roman state, included with Mars and Jupiter in the original Capitoline Triad. As their importance diminished Quirinus and Mars were replaced by Juno and Minerva. Quirinalia continued to be celebrated by the flamen Quirinalis (priests) sacred to Quirinus.
Parentalia festival continues…
Day 5
Parentalia festival continues…
18 FebruaryTacita religious ritesReligious ceremonydies comitialis[C]Dea TacitaDea Tacita was the Roman goddess of silence and the dead who sealed up hostile mouths and unfriendly tongues.
Parentalia festival continues…
Day 6
Parentalia festival continues…
19 FebruaryMinerva birthdaybirthdaydies comitialis[C]MinervaBirthday of Minerva, the Roman goddess of battle and patroness of wisdom and the arts.
Parentalia festival continues…
Day 7
Parentalia festival continues…
20 FebruaryParentalia festival continues…dies comitialis[C]
Day 8
Parentalia festival continues…
21 FebruaryFeralia festival (on the last day of the Parentalia festival)Roman festival, family festivalnefastus publicus[NP], dies religiosus
Dead parents and ancestors. The Manes, Febris “Fever” and Februus “Purifier” etc.The Roman Feralia public festival was held on the last day of the Parentalia private festival. Romans visited cemeteries with flowers, milk, wine and offerings were placed on the graves and tombs of their dead ancestors so they did not become hungry and return to plague the living. Temples opened at noon for propitiation to the cthtonic (underworld) deities. This ninth day “Parentalia Novendialia” possibly evolved into the Christian “novena”.
Parentalia festival ends.
Day 9
Parentalia festival ends.
22 FebruaryCaristia festivalRoman festivaldies comitialis[C]Concordia, Janus, Salus, Pax, the LaresCharistia/Caristia “Pardoning”, the day of Cara Cognatio, was traditionally a reunion of living family members. Disputes were resolved and forgiven followed by a “bring and share” meal in the presence of the household Lares to whom offerings were made and the Emperor’s health was toasted.
23 FebruaryTerminalia festivalRoman festivalnefastus publicus[NP]TerminusA day sacred to Terminus, the Roman god of boundary stones and markers. Sacrifices and feasts were held at boundary stones, decorated with garlands, between neighboring landowners. A formal celebration was held at a boundary stone in the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on Capitoline Hill.
24 FebruaryRegifugium / Fugalia religious festivalRoman festivlal, religious festivaldies comitialis[C]TerminusThe Regifugium “king’s flight” commemorated the expulsion of the last king of Rome but also had earlier religious origins. The public gathered at the open-air Comitium where the Rex Sacrorum “king priest” performed sacred rites before symbolically fleeing.
25 Februarydies comitialis[C]
26 Februaryendotercisus[EN]
27 FebruaryEquirria festival (1 of 2) with public sacrifice, purification rituals and a feast.Roman festivals, religious festival, purification ritual, sacrifices, feastingnefastus publicus[NP]
1 of 2
MarsThe February Equirria was the first of two horse racing Roman festivals founded by Romulus, the other on 14 March, to Mars, the Roman god of war and agriculture. A two-horse chariot race was held on the Campius Martius (or Caelian Hill if the Campius was flooded). A procession around the city boundaries ended with a public sacrifice, purification rituals for the army, and a feast.
28 Februarydies comitialis[C]End of the Roman calendar year.
29 February
MarchMarch honors the god Mars
1 March
Kalends
Juno sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daynefastus publicus[NP]Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
New Year’s Day (pre-Julian Roman calendar)New Years day, anniversary, feasting day, sacred dayMarsTo celebrate the New Year 24 salii (a priesthood of youthful male patricians, devoted to Mars) performed ritual dances wearing archaic Roman war dress, carrying an ancile (shield) and long spears, made a religious procession around the city, dancing and chanting the Carme Saliare followed with a sumptuous feast “Saliaris cena”. Laurels, sacred to Mars, are attached to public buildings and houses of the flamens. Various accounts indicate the dance and feast may have been repeated on the 9th and 23rd March or every day until 24th March. See also 23 March, 29 May and 19 October.
Matronalia festivalRoman festivalJuno Lucina, VestaThe Matronalia Roman festival is sacred to Juno Lucina, the epithet of Juno who presides over women and childbirth, and was a day of renewal. The Vestal Virgins rekindled the sacred fire of Vesta. Women left their hair unbound and carried nothing knotted on their person to symbolize safe childbirth without hinderances. Husbands prayed for the health and well being of their wives. Matronalia was one of the most popular Roman festivals celebrated with gifts being exchanged between friends and family with feasting, gambling, revelry, music and dancing in the streets.
Mars Pater anniversaryAnniversaryMars PaterThe Roman army sacrificed a bull on 1 March, to celebrate the birthday of Mars Pater “Father Mars the Victorious”.
2 Marchdies fastus[F]
3 Marchdies comitiales[C]
4 Marchdies comitiales[C]
5 MarchNavigum Isis festivalRoman festival, Isiac festival, religious ceremonydies comitiales[C]IsisThe Navigum Isis (Isidis navigium) Isiac festival honored the Egyptian goddess Isis in her role as a Roman goddess who protected ships at sea. A procession of Isiac priests and devotees carried a model ship from the temple to Isis on the Campus Martius to (probably) the river Tiber.
6 MarchThe Lares, sacred dayReligious ceremony, sacred daydies comitiales[C]The LaresA day to honor the Lares, the Roman household gods.
7 MarchVejovis festival and temple ceremony (2 of 3)Roman festivals, temple ceremonydies fastus[F]
2 of 3
VejovisVejovis was an early Roman god of healing and medicine – an underworld Jupiter. 3 Vejovis Roman festivals were held each year, the other two are on 1 January and 21 May.
Junonalia festival, sacred day to JunoRoman festival, sacred dayJunoJunonalia Roman festival to honor Juno. A procession of 27 girls accompanied a statue of Juno carved from a cypress tree. First mentioned in 354 CE in the Calendar of Filocalus illuminated manuscript.
8 Marchdies fastus[F]
9 MarchMars festivalRoman festival, religious ceremony, feastingdies comitiales[C]MarsRoman religious (dies religiosus) festival to Mars when the Salii carried the ancilia (12 sacred shields from the temple of Mars) around the city again. See also 1 March.
10 Marchdies comitiales[C]
11 MarchHercules festivalReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies comitiales[C]Hercules sacred day
12 Marchdies comitiales[C]
13 Marchendotercisus[EN]
14 MarchEquirria festival (2 of 2)Roman festivals, sacrifices, purification rituals, feastingnefastus publicus[NP]
2 of 2
MarsThe March Equirria was the second of two horse-racing Roman festivals, the first was held on 27 February with public sacrifice, purification rituals and feasting. A two-horse chariot race held on the Campius Martius to boost morale. Priests purified the army with rituals and a scapegoat was driven out of Rome.
Marmuralia festivalRoman festival, maybe a “scapegoat” religious ritualAccording to Joannes Lydus (6th century Byzantine historian), an old man named Veturius Mamurius who crafted the ancilla (ritual shields) that hung in the temple of Mars, was ritually beaten with sticks wearing animal skins.
15 March
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)Sacred day, temple ceremony, public sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]JupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
Hilaria festival (14 days) starting with 9 days of abstinence.Roman festival, religious ceremony
Day 1
Cybele, AttisHilaria “the cheerful ones” is taken from the Greek Ascensus festival, to honor Cybele, Greek mother of the gods. Scholars believe the Hilaria series started before 160 CE. Hilaria day 1: Canna intrat “The Reed enters” marked the birth of Attis and his discovery in the reeds on the river Sangarius in Pyrygia. Starts a 9 day period of abstinence from bread, fish, pork, pomegranates, quinces with only milk to drink.
Anna Parenna and river nymphs anniversaryRoman festival, anniversary, sacred day, sacrificesAnna Perenna, the nymphs, JupiterAnna Perenna, the Roman goddess of the passing years of the lunar cycle. Public prayers and sacrifices were made to ensure a prosperous year ahead. This Roman holiday was celebrated by men and women with dancing, revelry and drinking as many cups of wine as the number of years they pray to live. One of the most important Roman festivals.
Guild festivalRoman festival for guildsMinervaFestival for guilds whose members practiced the arts of Minerva. Primarily a plebean festival celebrated at Minerva’s temple in Rome. Weapons used for war were purified during this festival.
Movable eventMarmuralia festival Alternative dateMovable Roman festivals, alternative dateAlternative date for the Marmuralia Roman festival see 14 March.
Julius Caesar was assassinated on this day “Caesar, beware the IDES of March!”, from William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar.
16 MarchArgei Procession (part 1 of 2)Roman religious ceremonydies fastus[F]Argei are human-shaped figures representing men bound hand and feet made from rushes. A procession visits 27 (or 24 or 30 depending on source) argei sacella Argeorum (chapels) across the four Servian regions of Rome in a preparatory rite for a companion rite on 14 May.
Hilaria festival continues…
Day 2
Hilaria festival continues…
17 MarchAgonalia festivalRoman festivals, sacrifices, religious ceremonynefastus publicus[NP]
2 of 4
Janus, Liber Pater, Vediovius, Sol IndigesThe Agonalia (Agonia or Agonium Martiale) religious Roman festivals were held at the Regia, near the Forum in the center of Rome. The Rex Sacrorum “king of the sacred” sacrificed a ram to Janus. Four Agonaliae Roman festivals were held during the year, the other three were held on 9 January, 21 May and 11 December. This Agonalia was held on the day boys came of age, around sixteen years old. Boys would leave their purple childhood toga on the altar at home and wear the toga virilis “toga of manhood” to attend the Agonalia as men.
Argei Procession (part 1 of 2)Roman religious ceremonyThe argei rites in preparation for a companion rite on 14 May continue…
Liberalia festivalRoman festival, sacrificesLiber Pater, Libera, BacchusLiberalia was a Roman festival for Liber Pater, the Roman god of wine, freedom and fertility, a day to a celebrate freedom from worries, evil and folly. Later his consort, Libera, was added. Old women, acting as Liber Pater’s priestesses, wearing ivy wreaths, would sacrifice oil and honey cakes to Liber Pater on behalf of attendees. Liber Pater and Libera represented the respective male and female seed and a large Phallus was paraded around the countryside after which a wreath was placed on it by a virtuous matron at a rustic ceremony. An earlier separate festival for Bacchus (Dionysus) was incorporated into Liberalia.
Hilaria festival continues…
Day 3
Hilaria festival continues…
18 MarchHilaria festival continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 4
Hilaria festival continues…
19 MarchQuinquatrus festival / 5 day Greater Quinquatria festivalRoman festival, public holiday, temple anniversary, feastingnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 1
Mars, MinervaQuinquartus was originally a one day holiday for Mars “feriae marti” which later expanded into a five day Quinquatria festival. 19 March was a feast day for Minerva whose temple on the Aventine Hill was dedicated on this day.
Hilaria festival continues…Roman festival
Day 5
Hilaria festival continues…
20 MarchPelusia festivalRoman festival, Isiac festivaldies comitiales[C]Harpocrates (Hellenistic)The Pelusia Isiac festival commemorates the birth of Harpocrates “Horus the child”, son of Isis, who emerges from the mud and declares the Nile is fertile ending drought and hunger. Pelusia makes its first appearance in the 354 Roman calendar.
Hilaria festival continues…
Greater Quinquatria festival continues…
Day 6
Day 2
Minerva
21 MarchHilaria festival continues…
Greater Quinquatria festival continues…
dies comitiales[C]
Day 7
Day 3
Mars, Minerva
22 MarchHilaria festival: Procession of the Tree BearersRoman festivaldies nefastus[N]
Day 8
Mars, MinervaHilaria day 8: Arbor intrat “the tree enters”. commemorates the death of Attis under a pine tree. A ram was sacrificed at the base of a pine tree from a wood sacred to Cybele. The tree was felled, an image of Attis was attached, and taken on a funeral style procession with lamentations through Rome to the Temple of the the Magna Mater (Cybele) on Palatine Hill.
Greater Quinquatria festival continues…
Day 4
Minerva
23 MarchTubilustrium ceremonyPublic religious ceremony, purification ritual, feasting, sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 5
Mars, Minerva, NerioThe Tubilustrium dedicated to the purification of the tubae (trumpets) took place on the final day of the Greater Quiquartria. The pontifices (high priests) of Rome, tribuni celerum (cavalry commanders) and army representatives gathered in the open air Comitium “assembly”. An ewe (female lamb) was sacrificed for the lustration (ceremonial washing) of the trumpets and 24 Salii (a priesthood of youthful male patricians, devoted to Mars), wearing archaic Roman war dress beating the sacred shields of Mars, performed ritual dances, and chanting the Carme Saliare in procession through the streets. After the parade the Salii hosted a feast which marked the end of the festival to Mars and start of preparations for the military campaigning season ahead. A second Tubilustrium was held on 23 May. See also 1st and 9th March.
Hilaria festival: Day of MourningRoman festival
Day 9
Hilaria day 9: Day of mourning. The pine tree was ceremonially laid to rest at the temple of the Magna Mater probably attended by the Corybantes drummers and dancers.
Mars and Saturn Invocation dayRoman festivals, invocation dayMars, SaturnMars and Saturn Invocation day. Religious (dies religiosus) Roman festivals to Mars when the Salii carried the ancilia (12 sacred shields from the temple of Mars) around the city again. See also 1 March, 29 May and 19 October.
24 MarchHilaria festival: Dies Sanguinis / Bellona’s DayReligious ceremony, sacrificesdies fastus[F]
Day 10
BellonaHilaria day 10: Dies Sanguinis “The Day of Blood”. Devotees of Roman war goddess Bellona carry out frenzied rites including whipping and cutting then drinking this sacrificial blood to propitiate Bellona. Phrygian priests (Galli) would castrate themselves. The pine tree effigy of Attis (felled 22 March) was ceremonially placed in its tomb and “the sacred night” followed.
Quando Rex ComitavitReligious ceremony, unknown ceremonyThe Rex Sacrorum (high priest) performed an unknown ceremony, possibly connected to the Regifugium.
25 MarchHilaria festival: Day of JoyRoman festivaldies comitiales[C]
Day 11
AttisHilaria day 11: Feria Stativa “Day of Joy” to celebrate the resurrection of Attis.
26 MarchHilaria festival: Day of RestRoman festivaldies comitiales[C]
Day 12
Hilaria day 12: Requietio “Day of Rest”.
27 MarchHilaria festival: Day of WashingReligious ceremonydies comitiales[C]
Day 13
Hilaria day 13: Lavatio “The Washing”. A procession took Cybele’s sacred stone from the Palatine temple down to the river Almone, a tributary of the Tiber, where it was bathed “in the Phrygian manner” by a priest before making a joyous torchlight return trip.
28 MarchHilaria festival ends with Initiation CeremonyReligious ceremonydies comitiales[C]
Day 14
Cybele, AttisHilaria day 14: Initium Caiani “Initiation Rite”: Possible Cybele and Attis cult initiation ceremony held at Phrygianum sanctuary at the Vatican Hill.
Sacrifice at the Tombs festivalRoman festivalThe Sacrifice at the Tombs Roman festival was established in the late Roman Empire. The living honored their dead ancestors at their tombs.
29 Marchdies comitiales[C]
30 MarchJanus and Concordia festivalRoman festival, religious ceremony, sacred daydies comitiales[C]Janus, Concordia, Salus, PaxConcordia as goddess of harmony and agreement, Janus as god of new beginnings, Salus as goddess of health and Pax as goddess of peace, were grouped and worshipped together at the altar of peace at an unknown location (not the one dedicated by Augustus on 30 January).
31 MarchLuna Roman festivalRoman festival, sacred daydies comitiales[C]LunaSacred day to Luna, the Roman goddess of the moon.
AprilApril may be named after the Etruscan goddess Apru or the Greek goddess Aphrodite
1 April
Kalends
Juno sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies fastus[F]Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
Veneralia festivalReligious roman festivals, sacred dayVenus Verticordia, Venus, Concordia, FortunaVeneralia Roman festival to honor Venus Verticordia “The Changer of Hearts” was a day for women to petition the aspect of Venus for support and help with their love life, betrothal and marriage. Women bathed in Rome’s public men’s baths wearing wreaths of myrtle.
Fortuna Virilis sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred dayFortuna Virilis, CeresSacred day to Fortuna Virilis “Manly or Virile Fortune”. Jewelry adorning her statues was ritually removed and cleaned. Sacrifices of flowers and incense were offered to conceal the physical imperfections of her devotees while in the bathhouses.
2 Aprildies fastus[F]
3 AprilProserpina’s rise from the UnderworldEventdies comitiales[C]ProserpinaProserpina’s rise from the Underworld.
Bona Dea sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred dayBona DeaDay sacred to Bona Dea, the Roman goddess of chastity, fertility and prophecy for women, was observed from sunset to sunset.
4 AprilMegalesia festival (7 days)Roman festival, sacrifices, feastingdies comitiales[C]
Day 1
CybeleMegalesia was dedicated to Cyble/Magna Mater “Great Mother”, an eastern earth-mother goddess and first established around 204 BCE. Her sacred black stone was brought to Rome from Phrygia on 4 April following a prophecy that if Rome adopted the goddess they would win victory over their enemies. Megalesia started with the sacrifice of the moretum (dish of herbs) by a Praetor or aedile (magistrate). The Galii (eunuch priests of Cybele) then carried her crowned image through the city to the sound of flutes, tambourines, cymbals and horns. The galii beat themselves bloody in an ecstatic ritual so strange citizens were not allowed to walk in the procession. Sumptuous feasts were hosted by the city’s aristocrats.
5 AprilFortuna temple anniversaryRoman festival, circus games, temple anniversary, temple ceremonydies nefastus[N]
Day 2
CybeleTemple anniversary to Fortuna, Roman goddess of good fortune and the divine personification of luck.
Megalesia festival continues…Megalesia festival continues…
6 AprilMegalesia festival continues…Roman festivaldies nefastus[N]
Day 3
CybeleBy 191 BCE the third day of the Megalesia festival featured ludi scenici (stage games) including scenic plays and theatrical performances.
7 AprilMegalesia festival continues…Roman festivaldies nefastus[N]
Day 4
CybeleThe Megalesia festival was where wealthy Romans did their best to impress each other, they dressed formally and invited each other to share meals. Slaves were not allowed at the festival.
8 AprilMegalesia festival continues…Roman festivaldies nefastus[N]
Day 5
CybeleThe Megalesia festival was aka Ludi Megalenses, Megalensia or Megalesiaca.
9 AprilMegalesia festival continues…Roman festivaldies nefastus[N]
Day 6
CybeleMegalesia festival continues…
10 AprilCybele temple anniversaryRoman festival, circus games, chariot racingdies nefastus[N]
Day 7
CybeleOn the last day the Megalesia a procession of golden statues including winged Victoria, Mars, Apollo, Minerva, Neptune, Ceres, Bacchus, Pollux and Castor and Venus were paraded around the Circus Maximus before the Praetor signals the start of the Ludi circenses “chariot races”.
11 April“Diana’s Bread” baked todaydies nefastus[N]“Diana’s Bread” was baked today.
12 AprilCerialia / Ludi Cereri “Ceres games” (8 days) startsRoman festival, circus gamesdies nefastus[N]
Day 1
Ceres, Conuector, Conditor, Imporcitor, Insitor, Messor, Obarator, Occator, Promitor, Reparator, Serritor, Subruncinator, Vervactor8 day Cerialia Roman festival devoted to Ceres, the Roman goddess of the bounty (of growth and creation) including farming, agriculture, the harvest, grain and cereal crops, fertility and motherly relationships. Ceres 12 helper gods were also invoked during Cerialia.
13 April
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)Religious roman festivals, sacred day, temple ceremony, public sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]JupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
Libertas festivalRoman festival, sacred day, temple anniversary, temple ceremony, circus gamesnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 2
Libertas, Jupiter, Jupiter Victor, Jupiter Invictus, Jupiter Libertator, CeresSacred day to Libertas the Romas goddess embodiment of liberty, sacred day for Jupiter, Jupiter Invictus, Jupiter Libertator and temple anniversary for Jupiter Victor “Jupiter the Victorious”.
Cerialia continues…
14 AprilCerialia continues…Roman festival, circus gamesdies nefastus[N]
Day 3
CeresOn hearths in towns popular offerings included spelt cakes, salt and incense. In rural areas offerings of milk, honey and wine was carried around the fields three times before being presented to Ceres.
15 AprilFordicalia festival, Cerialia continues…Roman festival, circus games, sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 4
Tellus, CeresThe Fordicidia was an ancient fertility ritual in honor of Tellus, the Roman earth mother. 31 pregnant cows were sacrificed, one in each of Rome’s 30 curiae (districts) and one in the Capitol region. In common with some other rituals one was performed by the state and mirrored in Rome’s curiae. In the public state Fordicidia sacrifice the unborn calf was torn from its mother’s womb, by the attendants of the Virgo Vestalis Maxima (high priestess of Vesta) or Vestal Maxima, and burnt so the fertility of the cattle passes into the earth. The ashes of the burnt calves were kept by the Vestal Virgins, for use in the the Parilia on 21 April. The Fordicidia, along with many other Republican Roman festivals had disappeared in 354 CE calendar as Christianity spread across the Roman empire.
16 AprilCerialia continues…Roman festival, circus gamesdies nefastus[N]
Day 5
CeresThe Cerialia festival included ludi circenses “circus games”. The games began with a horse race, in the Circus Maximus, with the starting point below the Aventine Temple of Ceres, Liber and Libera.
17 AprilCerialia continues…Roman festival, circus gamesdies nefastus[N]
Day 6
CeresFrom around 175 BCE plebeian aedile Gaius Memmius was credited with staging the first ludi scaenici “theatrical performances” and distributed a new commemorative denarius coin in honor of the event which he claimed were “the first Cerealia”.
18 AprilCerialia continues…Roman festival, circus gamesdies nefastus[N]
Day 7
CeresThe Ludi Ceriales “Games of Ceres” or Ludi Cereri were held in the Circus Maximus where it was traditional to wear white robes.
19 AprilCerialia festival endsRoman festival, circus games, chariot racingnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 8
CeresThe last day of the Ludi Ceriales culminated with exciting Ludi circenses “chariot races” held in the Circus Maximus. As part of the ritual celebrations, foxes with blazing torches tied to their tails were released into the Circus which probably had some connection to the grain harvest but the meaning has been lost.
20 Aprildies nefastus[N]
21 AprilParalia Roman festivalRoman festival, circus games, religious ceremony, sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]PalesThe Parilia Roman festival honors Pales, the Roman god or goddess of shepherds, flocks and livestock, and the official foundation of the city of Rome on 21 April 753 BCE by Romulus. The 30 curiae “districts” each had their own bonfire and outdoor feasts. At first light in the countryside sheep pens were cleaned and decorated with greenery and wreaths where placed at their entrances. A bonfire was made of olive and pine wood, onto which laurel branches were thrown and if they crackled it was taken as a good omen. Sulfur was also added to the bonfire and the sheep were led through the sulfur-tinged smoke to purify them against disease. The shepherds then made offerings of millet cakes and milk to Pales followed by a prayer, recited four times while facing east, asking for forgiveness for any unintentional transgressions against Pales and asking protection for his flock from disease and wolves and prosperity for the year ahead. The shepherd would then wash his hands in the morning dew, drink warm milk or wine and leap through the bonfire.
In the city of Rome a public ceremony was conducted by the Rex Sacrorum who added the ashes from the sacrifices of the calves at Fordicalia on 12 April and the blood from the horse sacrificed at the Equus October (October Horse) on 15 October to the bonfire before the leaping of the shepherds starts.
Dies Natalis Urbis Romae / Romaea festivalRoman festival, temple anniversary, circus games, chariot racingVenus Felix, Roma AeternaDies natalis Urbis Romae “anniversary of founding of Rome”, which became known as the Romaea festival, celebrated the official anniversary of the founding of the city of Rome on 21 April 753 BCE by Romulus. A temple, on the Velian, in honor of Venus Felix and Roma Aeterna, was consecrated in 121 CE (dedicated around 136 CE). The Romaea festival included chariot races in the Circus Maximus.
22 Aprildies nefastus[N]
Movable eventFeriae Latinae/Latin festival (up to 4 days) startsMovable Roman festivals, ancient roman religious festival, sacrifices, oscilla hanging
Day 1
The Latin Festival/Feriae Latinae was an ancient Roman religious festival held annually to reaffirm the Latin League alliance. The origin of the festival predate the founding of Rome and was held into the third century CE and maybe beyond. It was a movable feast, the date decided by the consuls each year on taking up office. At some point in history it took place over 3-4 days in April on the Alban Mount.
23 AprilVinalia Priora festivalRoman festivals, religious festivaldies fastus[F]
1 of 2
Jupiter, VenusVinalia Priora / Vinalia Urbana is the first of two Roman wine festivals celebrating wine production, the other Vinalia Rustica, is held on 29 August. Jupiter, as patron of the highest quality and sacrificial grade wine (temetum), was offered a libation of the sacred wine vintage from the previous year, blessed by Jupiter’s high priest and poured into a ditch outside Venus’ Capitoline temple. Venus was patron of wine intended for human use (vinum spurcum) and wine jars from the previous year’s pressing were opened and sampled by both men and women alike.
Prostitutes (meretrices) and common girls (vulgares puellae) gathered at Venus Erycina’s Colline temple to offer Venus mint, myrtle and rushes concealed in bunches of roses in return for “beauty and popular favor” and to be made “charming and witty”.
Movable eventFeriae Latinae/Latin festival continues…Movable Roman festivals
Day 2
Each Latin city sent a representative with offerings, typically sheep, cheese or pastoral products. Attendance for the duration was expected. The presiding Roman consul offered a libation of milk, sacrificed a pure white heifer that had never been yoked, the flesh was eaten as a sacrament during a communal meal.
24 Aprildies comitalis
Movable eventFeriae Latinae/Latin festival continues…Movable Roman festivals
Day 3
Oscilla (small figures, masks or faces) were hung from trees.
25 AprilRobigalia festivalRoman festival, circus games, sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]Mars, RobigusThe Robigalia Roman festival was held in honor of Robigus, the Roman god of mildew and grain rust. In a grove 5 miles outside Rome along the Claudian Way the Flamen Quirinalis sacrificed an unweaned puppy offering the blood and entrails, along with wine and incense, to Robigus with prayers to protect the crops. Ludi circenses “chariot racing” with two and four-horse chariots were also held in honor of Mars and Robigus.
Movable eventFeriae Latinae/Latin festival ends.Movable Roman festivals
Day 4
Feriae Latinae/Latin festival ends (or ended yesterday).
Serapia festivalRoman festival, Isiac festivalSerapis (Egyptian-Greek)The Serapia Isiac festival honors Serapis, the Egyptian-Greek god of healing. The cult of Serapis was worshipped in Rome at a temple to Serapis on the Quirinal inside the Pomerium, built in 212 CE by Caracalla. The Iseum Campense sanctuary of Isis and Serapis in the Campus Martius was built between 43-33 BCE. Serapia appears on the 354 Roman calendar.
26 Aprildies comitiales[C]
27 Aprildies comitiales[C]
28 AprilFloralia festival (6 days) and Ludi Floriales startsRoman festival, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 1
Flora6 day Floralia Roman festival dating from 173 BCE onwards, devoted to Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and spring starts. One of the most important Roman festivals.
29 AprilFloralia and Floriales Ludi continue…Roman festival, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 2
FloraThe festival was organized by plebian aediles (magistrates) and started with theatrical performances followed by games in the Circus Maximus.
30 AprilFloralia and Floriales Ludi continue…Roman festival, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 3
FloraBrightly colored clothes and flower garlands were encouraged throughout the festival.
May
1 May
Kalends
Juno sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies fastus[F]Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
Floralia and Floriales Ludi continue…Roman festival, circus games
Day 4
Bona Dea temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremony, women onlyFlora, Fauna, Bona Dea, DamiaTemple dedication anniversary to Bona Dea “good goddess”, the Roman goddess of prophecy, chastity, fertility, healing and the protection of individuals and the Roman state. In a women-only ritual Bona Dea’s priestess (called the Damniatrix) sacrificed a sow (known as the Damium) to the goddess called Damia (associated with Fauna) at Bona Dea’s temple on Aventine hill decorated with healing herbs and snakes. Women made offerings of wine (called milk), carried into the temple in honey pots, and adorned the head of the goddess’ statue with vine leaves.
Maia sacred daysacrificesMaiaThe flamen of Vulcan sacrificed a pregnant sow to Maia the customary offering to an earth goddess, see also 15 May.
Laribius festivalRoman festival, feastingLares PraestitesThe Lares Praestites (Lares Publici) were honored as protectors of the city of Rome, in the state Regia, near the temple of Vesta.
2 MayFloralia and Floriales Ludi continue…Roman festival, circus gamesdies fastus[F]
Day 5
FloraBefore the games started goats and hares were released into the Circus and beans and lupins, all symbols of fertility, were thrown into the crowds. Prostitutes danced naked and engaged in mock gladiatorial combat.
3 MayFlora temple anniversary, Floralia and Floriales Ludi continue…Temple anniversary, temple ceremony, Roman festival, circus gamesdies comitialis[C]FloraFlora celebration, during the Roman Imperial period, most likely on the anniversary of one of her temples.
Floralia festival and Floriales Ludi endRoman festival, circus games, chariot racing
Day 6
FloraTraditional Ludi circenses “chariot racing” in the Circus Maximus took place on the last day to close the festival and games.
4 MayMegalesia festivalRoman festivaldies comitialis[C]CybeleMegalesia festival to honor Cybele.
5 Maydies comitialis[C]
6 Maydies comitialis[C]
7 Maydies fastus[F]
8 Maydies fastus[F]
9 MayLemuria / Lemurua / Lemuralia religious ceremony day 1 of 3Roman festivals, public religious ceremony, private religious ceremonydies nefastus[N], dies religiosus
Day 1 of 3
the LarvaeThe Lemuriae ceremonies were held on three consecutive odd numbered days to appease the Lemures, restless spirits of the dead who died violent or unnatural deaths. Even numbered days were considered unlucky. At midnight the Paterfamilias or Materfamilias (head of the household) would arise and barefooted, wearing no knots, buckles or any constricting fastenings, perform a private ceremony as follows:
– Wash hands in pure water.
– Walk around the house making the mano fico sign (a fist with the thumb protruding between the index and middle fingers as a sign of good fortune and fertility) while at the same time spitting out (or tossing over the shoulder without looking) nine black beans, one at a time while saying the incantation “haec ego mitto his redimo meque meosque fabis” (“With these beans I give I redeem me and mine”) which the Lemures hopefully collected instead of the souls of the living.
– Wash hands again in pure water.
– Bang two bronze vessels together to scare away the Lemures.
– Repeat nine times “Manes exite paternae” (“Spirits of my father, be gone”) then look backward to check the Lemures had gone.
– Wash hands again in pure water.
10 Maydies comitialis[C]
11 MayLemurua / Lemuria / Lemuralia religious ceremony day 2 of 3Roman festivals, public religious ceremony, private religious ceremonydies nefastus[N], dies religiosus
Day 2 of 3
the LarvaeLemurua / Lemuralia religious ceremony day 2 of 3
Maia sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred day, sacrificesSacrifices made to Mania, the Roman goddess of death, and mother of the Lares, possibly as part of the public Lemuralia ceremony.
12 Maydies comitialis[C]
13 MayLemuralia / Lemurua / Lemuria religious ceremony day 3 of 3Roman festivals, public religious ceremony, private religious ceremonynefastus publicus[NP], dies religiosus
Day 3 of 3
the LarvaeSimilar public ceremonies, to protect the state, were also held.
14 MayMars Invictus temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonydies comitialis[C]Mars InvictusMars Invictus “Mars the Unconquered” temple anniversary.
Argeis festival (part 2 of 2)Roman festivals, ancient Roman religious ceremonyThe Argeis ceremony is a companion rite to the Procession of the Argei on 16/17 March. A procession of 27 (or 24 or 30 depending on source) argei are carried counter-clockwise through Rome accompanied by the Vestal Virgins, the Flamines (priests), the Flaminica Dialis (wife of high priest of Jupiter) and the Praetor (magistrate) to the Pons Sublicius (bridge) where the Vestal Virgins threw the argei into the river Tiber. The origin of the festival was lost, even to the Romans, by 1 BCE but they keep up the tradition anyway!
15 May
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)Sacred day, temple ceremony, public sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]JupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
Maia and Vesta sacred daysacred day, sacrificesdies nefastus[N]Vesta, MaiaThe flamen of Vulcan sacrificed a pregnant sow to Maia the customary offering to an earth goddess, see also 1 May.
Tiber River sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred day
Mercuralia festival to Mercury, the Roman god of merchants, thieves and travel. Merchants using laurel branches sprinkled water, from the Aqua Mercurii at the Porta Capena gate, over their heads, merchandise and ships for good fortune, along with prayers for forgiveness for past and future wrongdoings!Roman festivalMercuryMercuralia festival to Mercury, the patron god of merchants was honored by merchants who sprinkled water over their heads, merchandise and ships from the Aqua Mercurii at the Porta Capena gate.
16 Maydies fastus[F]
17 Maydies comitialis[C]
18 MayApollo sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies comitialis[C]ApolloApollo sacred day
19 MayZenziarius festivalRoman festival, mystery festivaldies comitialis[C]ZenziariusZenziarius roman festival included in the Calendar of Filocalus 354 CE. The intent of this Roman festival remains a mystery.
20 Maydies comitialis[C]
21 MayVejovis festival and temple ceremony (3 of 3)Roman festivals, temple ceremonynefastus publicus[NP]
3 of 3
VejovisVejovis, the Roman god of healing and medicine was one of the first Roman gods to enter the world. 3 Vejovis Roman festivals are held each year, the other two are on 1 January and 7 March.
Agonalia festivalRoman festivals, religious ceremony, sacrifices
3 of 4
Janus, Liber Pater, Vediovius, Sol IndigesThe Agonalia religious Roman festivals were held at the Regia, near the Forum in the center of Rome. The Rex Sacrorum “king of the sacred” sacrificed a ram to Janus. Four Agonaliae Roman festivals were held during the year, the other three were held on 9 January, 17 March and 11 December.
22 Maydies fastus[F]
23 MayTubilustrium festivalRoman festival, religious ceremonyMarsThe Tubilustrium was an archaic festival to Vulcan and Mars dedicated to the purification of the sacred tubae (trumpets). The pontifices (high priests) of Rome, tribuni celerum (cavalry commanders) and army representatives gathered in the open air Comitium “assembly”. An ewe (female lamb) was sacrificed for the lustration (ceremonial washing) of the trumpets and 24 Salii (a priesthood of youthful male patricians, devoted to Mars), wearing archaic Roman war dress beating the sacred shields of Mars, performed ritual dances, and chanted the Carme Saliare in procession through the streets. After the parade the salii hosted a feast. The first Tubilustrium was held on 23 March.
Vulcan festivalRoman festivalVulcanThis Vulcan festival was connected with the Tubilustrium.
24 Maynefastus publicus[NP]
Movable eventRosalia festival. Movable festival dates 24 May or mid July.Movable Roman festivals, religious ceremonyFloraThe Rosalia Roman festival of roses was a movable feast (but not an official Feriae conceptivae) usually celebrated in May but sometimes in mid July to honor Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers and spring. The observance involved adorning graves, statues, military standards (Military Rosaliae) and revered objects with roses (or violets) and garlands to commemorate the dead.
25 MayFortuna temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonydies comitialis[C]Fortuna, Fortuna Primigenia, Fortuna Publica Populi Romani Quiritium PrimigeniaTemple anniversary to honor Fortuna Primigenia “Primordial/Original” was a mythical Roman goddess and oracle “sortes Praenestinae” (the Praenestine lots). Her temple complex, on the coast in the city of Praeneste about 20 miles south-east of Rome, rivaled Delphi. She was worshipped in Praeneste before several temples to Fortuna Primigenia were built in Rome. The largest was dedicated to Fortuna Publica Populi Romani Quiritium Primigenia (“First-born Fortuna of the Roman Nation, its People and Citizens”) on 25 May 194 BCE. See also 13 November.
26 Maydies comitialis[C]
27 Maydies comitialis[C]
Movable eventAmbarvalia festival alternative dateMovable Roman festivals, alternative dateAlternative date for Ambarvalia Roman festival, see 29 May.
Movable eventLudi Saeculares Alternative dateMovable Roman festivals, alternative dateAlternative start date for Ludi Saeculares, see 31 May.
28 Maydies comitialis[C]
29 MayMarsdies comitialis[C]MarsRoman religious (dies religiosus) festival to Mars when the Salii carried the ancilia (12 sacred shields from the temple of Mars) around the city again. See also 1st and 23rd March and 19 October.
Movable eventAmbarvalia festival. Moveable festival dates include 27, 29 (most popular), 30 May and 17, 19, 20 June. Ambarvalia may have been a 3 day festival.Movable Roman festivals, purification rituals, religious ceremony, sacrificesCeres, Dea Dia, Bacchus, MarsAmbarvalia was a movable Roman feast involving purification rituals and agricultural fertility rites which could be public or private and urban or rural. Citizens chanted ambervale carmen hymns while leading a bull, a sow and a sheep in procession three times around a circuit / fields before being sacrificed to ensure a state of blessedness.
Honos and Virtus temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyHonos, VirtusHonos (Roman god of bravery and military strength and personification of virtue) and Virtus (Roman god and personification of honor) temple anniversary just outside the porta Capena (gate to Capua in the Servian Walls on the Appian Way).
Zinza festivalRoman festival, mystery festivalZinza roman festival included in the Calendar of Filocalus 354 CE. The intent of this Roman festival remains a mystery.
30 Maydies comitialis[C]
Movable eventAmbarvalia festival alternative dateAlternative dateAlternative date for Ambarvalia Roman festival, see 29 May.
31 Maydies comitialis[C]
Movable eventLudi Saeculares (3 days and nights) startsMovable Roman festivals, Roman games, religious ceremony, sacrifices
Day 1
Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Juno Regina, Apollo, Diana, the Moirai, Eileithyia, Terra Mater, earlier chthonic deitiesThe Ludi Saeculares “secular games” were Ludi Tarentini during the Republican era and the exact years are disputed. The first Ludi Tarentini was held during 509 or 504 BCE, followed by 348 or 346 BCE, then 249 or 236 BCE and 149-126 BCE.
In 17 BCE Augustus transformed the games into the Ludi Saeculares to celebrate the beginning of a new age based on the “saeculum” (longest human lifespan) set to 110 years. A new choral hymn, the Carmen Saeculare, by Horace was commissioned which formed the blueprint for subsequent Ludi Saeculares held during:
47 CE: Claudius changed the length of the saeculum to 100 years so the games coincided with Rome’s 800th birthday.
88 CE: Domitian used Claudius’ 100 saeculum but hold the games 100 years after Augustus.
204 CE: Septimius Severus in AD 204 held the games 2×110 year saecula after Augustus.
248 CE: Philippus (Philip the Arab) used Claudius’ 100 year saeculum to held the games on the 1000th anniversary after the founding of Rome, which was the last recorded Ludi Saeculares.
June
1 June
Kalends
Juno sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies nefastus[N]Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
Carna festivalRoman festival, religious festivalCarnaCarna festival honoring Carna, the Roman goddess of the hinges of doorways, bodily health and associated with building muscles, defending flesh and internal organs from strigea (witches). Prayers and offerings of bean-meal and bacon fat were made to Carna.
Tempestates temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyTempestatesTemple anniversary for the Tempestates, Roman goddesses of storms.
Juno Moneta temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyJuno MonetaTemple anniversary for Juno Moneta, the epithet of Juno responsible for funds, money and coins. The temple was later re-dedicated on 10 October.
Mars temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyMarsTemple anniversary for Mars on the anniversary of his temple near the Porta Capena.
Movable eventLudi Saeculares continue…Movable Roman festivals
Day 2
According to Byzantine historian Zosimus, Valesius, a Sabine father with three children suffering from the plague were miraculously cured by drinking warmed water from the river Tiber at Tarentum, bordering the Campus Martius, following prophecy when praying to his household gods. As prophesied Valesius found an altar buried underground and performed sacrifices over three successive nights, one for each child. These formed the basis for the sacrifices, to both Greek and Roman deities, in the reworked secular games.
2 Junedies fastus[F]
Movable eventLudi Saeculares end.Movable Roman festivals
Day 3
Day-time sacrifices to Roman deities on the Capitoline and Palatine hills:
Day 1: Jupiter Optimus Maximus; 2 bulls
Day 2: Juno Regina; 2 cows
Day 3: Apollo and Diana; 27 sacrificial cakes (9x three types)
Night-time sacrifices to Greek deities on the Campus Martius:
Night 1: The Moirai (Fates); 9 female lambs and 9 female goats
Night 2: Eileithyia: 27 sacrificial cakes (9x three types)
Night 3: Terra Mater; Pregnant sow
3 JuneBellona temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonydies comitiales[C]BellonaTemple anniversary to Bellona, the Roman goddess of war, in the Circus Flaminius.
4 JuneHercules Custos festivalRoman festival and later gamesdies comitiales[C]Hercules Magno CustodiRoman festival to Hercules Magno Custodi “the Great Custodian” near the Circus Flaminius. Games were added in the Imperial era.
5 JuneDius Fidius temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonydies nefastus[N]Dius FidiusTemple anniversary to the Roman Dius Fidius “Divine Faith” associated with taking oaths and making treaties.
6 Junedies nefastus[N]
7 JuneLudi Piscatorii “Fishermans games”Roman games, circus games, sacrificesdies nefastus[N], dies religiosusTiberinusLudi Piscatorii “Fishermans games” to Tiberinus, the Roman god of the river Tiber “Father Tiber”. Fishermen celebrate games officiated by the Praetor Urbanus (senior magistrate). All fish caught were sacrificed at the temple of Vulcan.
Vesta temple openingTemple ceremony, women onlyVestaThe inner sanctum of the Temple of Vesta normally curtained off, was opened “Vesta aperitur” for women to make offerings barefooted to Vesta in exchange for blessings on them and their families.
8 JuneMens temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonydies nefastus[N], dies religiosusMensTemple anniversary to Mens, the Roman goddess of the mind and right thinking, sometimes known as Mens Bona.
9 JuneVestalia festival starts (7 days)Roman festival, public ceremony, religious ceremonydies nefastus[N], dies religiosus
Day 1
VestaVestalia religious festival to Vesta, the Roman virgin goddess of the hearth and domestic bliss. At the public ceremony the Vestal Virgins sang and said prayers for the state. A donkey, consecrated to Vesta for Vestalia, was crowned with garlands of flowers and pieces of bread. In homes the private ceremony involved libations of wine poured onto the ground.
10 JuneVesta sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies nefastus[N]VestaSacred day to Vesta.
Vestalia festival continues…Roman festival
Day 2
Vestalia festival continues…
11 JuneMatralia festivalRoman festival, women onlydies nefastus[N], dies religiosusMater MatutaThe Matralia festival honored Mater Matuta, the Roman goddess of the ripening of grain, dawn, mariners and matrons. Matralia was held at her temple in the Forum Boarium where her statue was crowned with a garland. Only free women in their first marriage were allowed to offer sacrifices of cakes baked in earthenware pots and prayers for the welfare of their nephews and nieces to Mater Matuta. Symbolically one female slave was admitted into the temple, struck with a blow to the cheek, then driven out of the temple to encourage women to take care of their nephews and nieces rather than leave them in the care of slaves.
Fortuna Virgo temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremony, religious ceremonyFortuna VirgoFortuna Virgo ceremony at her temple in the Forum Boarium (adjacent to the Mater Matuta temple). Fortuna Virgo “Fortune the Virgin” is an aspect of Fortuna who watched over new brides and brought them luck in their marriages. Brides would dedicate their bridal robes to Fortuna Virgo to ease the transition from being single to married.
Vestalia festival continues…Roman festival
Day 3
Vestalia festival continues…
12 JuneVestalia festival continues…Roman festivaldies nefastus[N]
Day 4
Vestalia festival continues…
13 June
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)Religious roman festivals, sacred day, temple ceremony, public sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP], dies religiosusJupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
Quinquartrus / Lesser Quinquartria festival (3 days) starts
Day 1
MinervaDuring the Quinquartrus festival the Tibicines wandered the streets wearing masks and festive clothes playing music.
Jupiter Invictus festivalRoman festivalJupiter InvictusJupiter Invictus “Jupiter the invincible” festival
Vestalia festival continues…Roman festival
Day 5
Vestalia festival continues…
14 JuneJupiter Invictus festival continuesRoman festivaldies nefastus[N]Jupiter InvictusThe Lesser Quinquartria festival ended with a procession by the Tibicines to Minerva’s temple then to Jupiter’s temple for a feast. See also Greater Quinquatria held 19-23 March.
Quinquartrus / Lesser Quinquartria festival continues….
Vestalia festival continues…
Roman festival
Day 2
Day 6
Quinquartrus / Lesser Quinquartria festival continues….
Vestalia festival continues…
15 JuneVestalia festival closesRoman festival, women onlydies fastus[F], dies religiosus
Day 7
The Flaminica Dialis (wife of high priest) observed mourning. The temple was ritually cleansed (stercoratio) of animal dung and litter from offerings which was ceremonially cast onto the river Tiber. The curtains of the inner sanctum were closed “Vesta clauditur” and it was once again lawful to transact public business: “Quando Stercus Delatum Fas” (Q.S.D.F.)
Lesser Quinquartria festival closes
Day 3
The 3 day Lesser Quinquatrus festival honored the Tibicines (Tibicen/flute players who played at religious celebrations) and Minerva, their patron goddess.
16 Junedies comitiales[C]
Movable eventLudi Piscatorii Alternate dateAlternative dateAlternative date for Ludi Piscatorii “Fishermans games” which was most likely held on 7 June.
17 June
Movable eventAmbarvalia festival alternative dateAlternative dateAlternative date for Ambarvalia Roman festival, see 29 May.
18 Junedies comitiales[C]
19 JuneMinerva temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonydies comitiales[C]MinervaTemple anniversary to Minerva, Roman goddess of trade guilds and crafts held at the temple of Minerva on the Aventine.
Movable eventAmbarvalia festival alternative dateAlternative dateAlternative date for Ambarvalia Roman festival, see 29 May.
20 JuneSummanus temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremony, sacificesdies comitiales[C]SummanusTwo black wethers (castrated rams) were sacrificed to Summanus along with wheel-shaped cakes at the Temple of Summanus, near the Circus Maximus.
Movable eventAmbarvalia festival alternative dateAlternative dateAlternative date for Ambarvalia Roman festival, see 29 May.
21 Junedies comitiales[C]
22 Junedies comitiales[C]
23 Junedies comitiales[C]
24 JuneFors Fortuna festivalRoman festival, religious ceremony, sacrificesdies comitiales[C]Fors FortunaRoman festival to Fortuna, the Roman goddess of good fortune and personification of luck. Sacrifices were made to Fortuna at two shrines near the Tiber river outside Rome.
25 JuneLudi Taurii Roman games beginsRoman games, circus games, sacrifices, horse racingdies comitiales[C]di inferiThe Taurian Games (Ludi Taurii/Ludi Taurei) were held in honor of di inferi (gods of the underworld). There may have been a bull sacrifice to appease the deities along with Ludi circenses “chariot racing” and horse racing.
26 JuneLudi Taurii endsRoman games, circus games, horse racing, chariot racingdies comitiales[C]di inferiBetween 140 to 160 CE the Ludi Taurei were held every five years (quinquennial) and was recorded as a two day event in 186 CE.
27 JuneInitium Aestatis festivalRoman festivaldies comitiales[C]AestasInitium Aestatis “beginning of summer” festival in honor of Aestas, the Roman goddess of the summer. Aestas is usually depicted naked, adorned with garlands of grain/ears of corn, standing next to the emerald throne of Phoebus (Sun god). Tradition says if it rains on this day it will be a wet summer.
Jupiter Stator temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyJupiter, JunoTemple anniversary for the Lares and Jupiter Stator on the Palatine. 27 maidens paraded through the city singing a hymn to Juno.
The Lares festivalRoman festival, household festivalthe LaresFestival to the Lares, Roman household guardian deities.
28 Junedies comitiales[C]
29 JuneHercules Musarum festivalReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies comitiales[C]Hercules MusarumSacred day in honor of Hercules Musarum “Hercules of the Muses” when learned men paid their respects to the nine Muses, goddesses of the arts, science and literature.
30 JuneAestatis sacred dayreligious ceremony, sacred daydies comitiales[C]Aestatis sacred day
JulyJuly honors Julius Caesar. Quintilis was the fifth (from adjective qunit) month in the earlier 10 month Roman calendar.
1 July
Kalends
Juno Roman festival and sacred dayRoman festival, sacred daydies nefastus[N]Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
Felicitas temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyFelicitasTemple anniversary in honor of Felicitas, the Roman goddess of happiness and good fortune at her temple located in the Velabrum in the Vicus Tuscus of the Campus Martius dedicated by Lucius Licinius Lucullus from his military campaigns in Spain in 151–150 BC.
2 JulyFeast of Expectant Mothers festivalRoman festival, feasting, women onlydies nefastus[N]Bona Dea, Carmenta, LucinaThe feast of expectant mothers was celebrated by pregnant women who gathered at their favourite temples across Rome to honor goddesses and receive blessings from deities associated with birth and fertility. This became the Christian Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
3 Julydies nefastus[N]
4 JulyDay of Paxdies nefastus[N]
5 JulyPoplifugianefastus publicus[NP]JupiterThe Poplifugia / Populifugia “Day of the people’s flight” commemorates the flight of the Romans when faced by the Fidenae after the city of Rome had been sacked by the Gauls in dies Alliensis “Battle of the Allia” around 390 BCE.
6 JulyFortuna Muliebris temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonydies nefastus[N]Fortuna MuliebrisTemple anniversary in honor of Fortuna Muliebris “Womanly or Female Fortune”, an aspect of Fortuna who cared for the luck and well being of married women. During the 5th century BCE Rome was attacked by Cnaeus Marcius Coriolanus and the married women, including his mother Veturia, wife and two children, came out of Rome and pleaded with him to spare the city which he did and built a temple to Fortuna Muliebris on the spot, which was dedicated on 6th July.
Ludi Apollinares “Apollo games” (8 days) startRoman games, circus games
Day 1
ApolloThe Ludi Apollinares “Apollo games” Roman games was originally held on 13 July but extended backwards to the 6 July and continued afterwards with market trading until 19 July due to their popularity.
7 JulyConsus sacred daySacred day, public sacrifices, Roman gamesdies nefastus[N]
Day 2
ConsusConsus was a Roman agricultural god, the protector of grains.
Caprotinia feastRoman festival, feasting, sacrificesJuno CaprotinaThe Feast of Juno Caprotina on the “Nones of the Wild Fig” commemorated the bravery of slave women when the Gauls captured Rome and demanded women were handed over. Philotis, a slave girl, suggested she and other servants dressed as free women, were handed over instead. The slaves disarmed the Gauls while they slept and set a wild fig tree alight which signaled the Romans to attack and defeat the Gauls.
Feriae Ancillarum “Festival of the Serving Women”Roman festival, feasting, women onlyJuno CaprotinaFor the Feriae Ancillarum “Feast of the serving women” women made fig juice offerings to Juno Caprotina (an epithet of Juno responsible for fertility) under a wild fig tree in the Campus Martius and ran around hitting themselves with rods and fists in mock battles.
8 JulyVitulatio festivalRoman festival, thanksgivingdies nefastus[N], dies religiosus
Day 3
VitulaAnnual thanksgiving and first fruits offerings to Vitula, the Roman goddess of joy and celebration, for their revenge victory over the Gauls in 390 BCE.
9 JulyRoman games, circus gamesdies nefastus[N]
Day 4
ApolloThe Ludi Apollinares (games of Apollo) were organised in accordance with the Oracles of Marcius, a seer who said the Romans must hold a festival for Apollo in the Greek fashion, which was confirmed in the Sibylline Books by the quindecimviri sacris faciundis (15 priests who guarded the books).
10 JulyRoman games, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 5
ApolloRome was invaded during the first festival but a cloud of arrows fell from the sky killing the invaders and the games continued.
11 JulyRoman games, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 6
ApolloAll participants were expected to wear garlands.
12 JulyRoman games, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 7
ApolloThe celebrations were organized by the Praetor Urbanis (civil magistrate) in the Circus Maximus which included praetextae (contemporary Roman dramas), two days of horse races and beast hunts.
13 JulyLudi Apollinares endsRoman games, chariot racingdies comitiales[C]
Day 8
Apollo, LatonaOn the final day an ox and two white female goats were sacrificed to Apollo and a cow to Latona followed by Ludi circenses “chariot racing”.
14 JulyLudi Apollinares market trading continues for 6 days, until 19 JulyMarket daydies comitiales[C]
Day 1
Markets (Mercatus) and fairs were added to the calendar following major Roman games so visitors who travelled from outside the city could combine business with pleasure.
15 July
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)Religious roman festivals, sacred day, sacrifices, market daynefastus publicus[NP]
Day 2
JupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
Transvectio Equitum horse paradeTemple ceremony, religious ceremony, horse paradeMarsTransvectio Equitum “cavalry parade” of the iuventus “young men” of the equites “equestrian class” started at the temple of Mars (or later from the temple of Honor and Virtue), outside the city walls past Porta Capena, close to the first miliarum “milestone”, along the Appian Way where Roman generals gathered the legions for military campaigns. The procession stopped at the Temple of Castor and Pollux in the Forum Romanum then continued to the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill. The ceremony lapsed but was revived by Augustus and may also have included a probatio equorum “review of the horses”.
16 JulyMarket daydies comitiales[C]
Day 3
17 JulyHonos, Victoria and Virtus festivalRoman festivals, market daynefastus publicus[NP]
Day 4
Honos, Virtus, VictoriaRoman Festivals to Honos, the Roman god of honor and military justice, Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory and Virtus the Roman god of bravery and military strength.
18 JulyBlack day anniversaryAnniversary, market daydies comitiales[C], dies religiosus
Day 5
Dies ater “Black day” considered an unlucky day because it was the anniversary of the defeat of the Roman Fabius family at the hands of the Etruscans in the city of Veii at the Battle of the Cremera in 477 BCE.
19 JulyLucaria festival (2 days)Roman festivals, anniversary, market daynefastus publicus[NP]
Day 1 of 2
Day 6
Leucaria, Rhea Silvia, woodland deitiesLucaria was held on 19 and 21 July to commemorate the anniversary of dies Alliensis “Battle of the Allia” around 390 BCE when the Gauls sacked Rome. The Romans hid in the woods then attacked and defeated the Gauls on their way back home. One of the most important Roman festivals.
Honos festivalRoman festival, sacred dayHonosHonos Roman festival to honor Honos, the Roman personification of honor.
Aphrodite and Adonis sacred day and dramaReligious roman festivals, sacred day, dramaAphrodite, AdonisAphrodite and Adonis sacred day and drama.
20 JulyLudi Victoriae Caesari “Caesar games” (11 days) startsRoman games, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 1
VictoriaLudi Victoriae Caesari Roman games were established by Julius Caesar in 46 BCE to celebrate his military successes in honor of Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory.
21 JulyLucaria festival endsRoman festivals, sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 2
Day 2 of 2
Leucaria, Rhea Silvia, woodland deitiesAt a sacred lucus “grove” between the river Tiber and the Salarian Way a pig was sacrificed along with prayers to Leucaria, Rhea Silvia (mother of Romulus & Remus) and the woodland deities followed by a feast.
22 JulyConcordia festival and temple anniversaryRoman festival, temple anniversary, religious ceremonydies comitiales[C]
Day 3
ConcordiaTemple dedication anniversary, originally vowed in 367 BCE, by Camillus to Concordia, the Roman goddess of concord (agreement and harmony) in marriage and society in general. 2nd century BCE. The temple was restored by Tiberius and reopened on 16 January 10 CE dedicated to Concordia Augusta the “Harmony of the Imperial Family”.
23 JulyNeptunalia festivalRoman festival, circus gamesnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 4
Neptune, SalaciaNeptunalia 2 day festival and (probably) games to Neptune, the Roman god of waters, to stave off drought and encourage rain for the crops and his consort Salacia. Romans camped out in tabernaculi (huts of branches and leaves) to enjoy the festivities.
24 JulyCaesar games continue…Roman gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 5
Caesar games continue…
25 JulyFurrinalia festivalRoman festival, religious ceremony, sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 6
FurrinaThe Furrinalia/Furinalia was an annual ancient Roman festival to honor Furrina, the Roman goddess of springs and bubbling water. Furrina was assigned one of the fifteen flamines (high priests) who performed an animal sacrifice and rites, probably at her sacred grove on the Janiculum. The meaning of the festival was lost, even in Roman times, but was probably concerned with summer droughts.
26 JulyCaesar games continue…Roman gamesdies nefastus[N]
Day 7
Caesar games continue…
27 JulyCaesar games continue with chariot racing…Roman games, chariot racingdies comitiales[C]
Day 8
The four last days of the Ludi Victoriae Caesari games featured Ludi circenses “chariot racing”.
28 JulyCaesar games continue with chariot racing…Roman games, chariot racingdies comitiales[C]
Day 9
Caesar games chariot racing.
29 JulyCaesar games continue with chariot racing…Roman games, chariot racingdies comitiales[C]
Day 10
Caesar games chariot racing.
30 JulyFortuna Huiusce Diei temple anniversary.Roman festival, temple ceremony, public sacrificesdies comitiales[C]Fortuna Huiusce DieiFortuna Huiusce Diei “Today’s Fortune” temple ceremony, in the Campus Martius, with public sacrifice to honor Fortuna Huiusque (aspect of Fortuna associated with public fortune). Held on the anniversary of the Battle of Vercellae, dedicated by Quintus Lutatius Catulus in 101 BCE.
Ludi Victoriae Caesari endsRoman games, chariot racing
Day 11
The Caesar games close with ludi circenses “chariot racing”.
31 Julydies comitiales[C]
AugustAugust honors emperor Augustus.Sextilis was the sixth (from sext) month in the earlier 10 month Roman calendar.
1 August
Kalends
Juno sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies fastus[F]Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
Victoria temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyVictoriaTemple anniversary to honor Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory, on the Palatine hill.
Spes temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonySpesTemple anniversary to honor Spes, the Roman goddess of hope, in the Forum Holitorium.
2 Augustdies fastus[F]
3 AugustSupplicia canum religious ceremonyReligious ceremony, public sacrificesdies comitiales[C]Annual Supplicia canum “punishment of the dogs” sacrifice day because dogs remained silent but the noisy honks of Geese saved Rome from the Gauls. Live dogs were crucified on crosses or forks while Geese, decorated in purple and gold, were carried in honor on a procession past the temples of Juventas and Summanus then (probably) to the Circus Maximus.
4 AugustVictoria Senati gamesRoman gamesdies comitiales[C]The Victoria Senati games are included in the 354 CE Roman calendar (Codex) n honour of the “Victory of the senate of Rome” and showed the emperor had a working relationship with the senate at that time.
5 AugustSalus temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremony, Roman games, sacrificesdies fastus[F]Salus Publica populi RomaniOfferings and public sacrifice to Salus, the Roman goddess of good fortune and health, were made at the Temple of Salus on Quirinal Hill which was originally dedicated, on this day in 302 BCE, to Salus Publica populi Romani (“Public Health of the Roman People”) by Gaius Iunius Bubulcus Salus. During the mid first century CE games were added.
6 Augustdies fastus[F]
7 Augustdies comitiales[C]
8 AugustVenus sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred day, temple ceremonydies comitiales[C]VenusFestival for Venus from sunset to sunset.
9 AugustSol sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred day, public sacrifices, temple ceremony, feastingdies comitiales[C]Sol IndigesPublic animal sacrifices to Sol Indiges “native or invoked sun” were held at a shrine to Sol on the Quirinal Hill and presented as a feast to commemorate Caesar’s victory at Pharsala in 48 BCE.
10 Augustdies comitiales[C]
11 Augustdies comitiales[C]
12 AugustLychnapsia festivalRoman festival, Isiac festival, birthday, anniversarydies comitiales[C]Isis (Egyptian)The Lychnapsia Isiac “festival of lamps” is a Roman adaptation of an earlier Egyptian Amesysia festival celebrating the birthday of the Egyptian goddess Isis. The cult of Isis spread across the Roman world during the Hellenistic period after 323 BCE and was popular in Rome from early empire 19-65 CE and endured through to its inclusion in the 354 CE Roman calendar before Christianity took over.
Venus Victrix festival and temple anniversaryRoman festival, temple anniversaryVenus Victrix, Honos, Virtus, Felicitas, Vesta (maybe)Roman festival and temple anniversary to honor Venus Victrix “Venus the Victorious”, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. She had a temple built by Pompeius Magnus in the Campus Martius and a shrine on the Capitoline hill. Accompanied by Honos and Virtus, Felicitas and (maybe) Vesta.
Hercules Invictus festival (2 days)Roman festivals, public sacrifices, feasting, men only
Day 1 of 2
Hercules InvictusRoman festival and public sacrifice of oxen to Hercules Invictus, held near the Circus Maximus, presented as a feast. Women were not allowed to attend.
13 August
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)Sacred day, temple ceremony, public sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]JupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
Vertumnalia festivalRoman festival, temple ceremonyVertumnus, PomonaVertumnalia Roman festival to honor Vertumnus, Roman god of the seasons, at his temple on the Aventine hill. Vertumnus shares this festival with Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruitful abundance, fruit trees, gardens, and orchards.
Hercules Invictus temple anniversaryRoman festivals, temple anniversary, temple ceremony
Day 2 of 2
Hercules InvictusHercules Invictus temple anniversary, near the Porta Trigemina. Cow horns, a symbol of Hercules, were also hung on Diana’s temple to honor both gods.
Fortuna Equestris temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyFortuna EquestrisTemple anniversary to Fortuna Equestris, the aspect of Fortuna that brought fortune to the Equestrian class. The temple was built by Quintus Fulvius Flaccus following his successful campaign in Hispania in 180 BCE.
Castor and Pollux temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyCastor and PolluxTemple anniversary to Castor and Pollux held in the Circus Flaminius.
The Camenae temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyThe CamenaeTemple anniversary for the Camenae, prophetic Roman water nymph goddesses of childbirth, fountains and wells, held on the Caelian Hill.
Flora temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyFloraTemple anniversary to Flora, Roman goddess of flowers and spring, at her temple near the Circus Maximus.
Nemoralia festival [1 of 2 dates]Roman festival, alternate dateDiana, HecateNemoralia “festival of torches” was held on either the 13th OR 15th August on the August full moon. Hunting or killing of any beast was forbidden during Nemoralia. Candles and torches were lit, garlands and wreaths were worn. Offerings of statuettes made from baked bread or clay representing body parts that needed healing, stags, other animals associated with the hunt were made to Diana. Offerings of garlic were made to Hecate, the goddess of the dark moon. Private observances were made by the head of the household along with public rites at Diana’s temple, founded by Servius Tullius in 6 BCE, on the Aventine Hill. Slaves were allowed to attend Nemoralia festival and could seek asylum in the temple. Women who believed their prayers to Diana had been answered joined a torchlight procession to Diana’s sacred grove on the northern side of Lake Nemi, near Ariccia, south of Rome in the evening. Earlier Nemoralia included ritual hair washing by women.
14 Augustdies fastus[F]
15 AugustNemoralia festival [2 of 2 dates]Roman festival, alternate datedies comitiales[C]Diana, HecateIt’s most likely the Nemoralia Roman festival to Diana was held on different dates at different time periods in history. Some sources state Nemoralia was a three day festival held on the 13th, 14th and 15th August, but we couldn’t find any supporting evidence for that.
16 Augustdies comitiales[C]
17 AugustPortunalia festivalRoman festivalnefastus publicus[NP]PortunusThe Portunalia Roman festival honored Portunus, the Roman god of keys and locks and (later) ports. Old keys were solemnly thrown into a fire as an offering to Portunus and for good fortune. It’s likely there were also sacrifices at the Temple of Portunus in the Forum Boarium. Moreover Portunus was closely associated with Janus.
Diana festivalReligious roman festivals, sacred dayDianaDiana festival
Janus temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyJanusTemple anniversary to Janus, near the Theater of Marcellus.
Tiberinalia festivalRoman festivalTiberinus, GaiaThe Tiberinalia Roman festival, honoring Father Tiber is included on the Filocalus calendar for 354 CE. It’s probable that the Tibernalia Roman festival was a result of dedications made to Tiberinus by emperors Diocletian and Maximianus. There’s also a Tiberinalia festival on 8 December.
18 Augustdies comitiales[C]
19 AugustVinalia Rustica festivalRoman festivals, religious festival, wine festival, harvest festivaldies fastus[F]1 of 2Jupiter, VenusVinalia Rustica “Rustic Vinalia” was a religious festival, held at the Circus Maximus, to celebrate the grape harvest, including the sacrifice of a female lamb (ewe) to Jupiter. Additionally also as a more general harvest festival to fulfill a vow made by Aeneas to offer the next sacred vintage to Jupiter in return for victory against Mezentius, an Etruscan tyrant. Vinalia Priora was second of wo Vinalia religious Roman festivals, the other Vinalia Priora was held on 23rd April.
Ludi Probi (2 days)Roman games, circus games, animal hunts
Day 1
ProbusThe Ludi Probi Roman circus games were held over two days on the anniversary of Probus, Roman Emperor between 276-282 CE. On day 1, at the Circus Maximus planted with trees and bushes, thousands of animals (1000 ostriches, 1000 boars, 1000 stags and 1000 deer along with wild sheep, goats and other animals) were released into the circus. Spectators were invited to hunt the animals and take their kills home to eat.
20 AugustLudi Probi endRoman games, circus games, gladiators, animal huntsdies comitiales[C]
Day 2
Day 2 of the Probus Roman games were held at the Colosseum where 200 lions, 200 leopards and 300 bears, were put on display and killed by gladiators. The Probus games are included in the 354 CE Roman calendar (Codex).
21 AugustConsualia festival [1 of 2]Roman festivals, temple ceremony, chariot racing, religious ceremonynefastus publicus[NP]
1 of 2
Consus, Neptunus EquestrisThe first of two Consualia Roman festivals marked the start of the harvest in honor of Consus, the Roman god of grain preservation, grain storage and secret deliberations. The altar at the Consus temple, on the Aventine hill, was underground, like grain storage vaults, and only uncovered during Consualia. The Flamen Quirinalis and the Vestal Virgins made offerings of the first fruits of the harvest to Consus before covering the altar. At the Circus Maximus the Rex Sacrorum “king of the sacred” made a ceremonial parade lap on a chariot around the Circus Maximus followed by ludi circenses “chariot racing”. The chariots were pulled by both horses and mules because both animals were sacred to Consus. Additionally horses, mules or asses were not worked during Consualia and were adorned with flowers and garlands. The second Consualia festival to mark the end of the harvest and onset of winter was held on 15 December.
Heraclia festivalRoman festival, possibly with sacrificesHerculesA Heraclia/Hercalia Roman festival to Hercules may have been held on 21 August but there’s not much supporting evidence.
22 Augustendotercisus[EN]
23 AugustVulcanalia festivalRoman festival, sacrifices, religious ceremonynefastus publicus[NP]Vulcan, Ops Opifera, the Nymphs, Juturna, Maia, HoraVolcanalia festival for Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. Bonfires were lit outside the city to honor Vulcan. Animals were driven into the fires and live fish were thrown onto the fire as substitution (for human) sacrifices. At the temple of Vulcanus offerings were made to Vulcan, Ops Opifera, the Nymphs, Juturna, Maia and Hora.
In 20 BCE Augustus held Ludi Vulcanalici (Volcanalia Games) in the Vulcan temple precinct to commemorate a treaty with Parthia.
24 AugustMundus Cerialis “World of Ceres” aka Mania festival [1 of 3]Roman festivals, Religious ceremonydies comitiales[C], dies religiosus
1 of 3
Ceres and other underworld deitiesFirst of three openings of the Mundus, a sacred pit, believed to be the portal to the underworld. The Lapis Manalis (stone lid of the Underworld) was removed allowing the spirits of the dead to enter the world and communicate with the living. Although the day is “dies comitalis” it’s also “dies religiosus” so any religious acts or new action would be inauspicious. The other two dates the Mundus was opened were 5 October and 8 November.
Luna festivalRoman festival, religious ceremony, sacrificesLunaSacrifices to Luna, the Roman goddess and divine personification of the moon, held at the Graecostasis, on a platform in the Comitium near the Roman Forum.
25 AugustOpiconsivia festivalRoman festival, religious ceremony, roman games, chariot racingnefastus publicus[NP]Ops, ConsusOpiconsivia festival (from consivia “to sow”) to Ops, the ancient Roman earth-mother goddess of fertility and plenty. A sacred room in Ops’ temple was opened by the Vestal Virgins and the Flamines (preistess) of Quirinus who wore a white veil. Secret rites were performed by the Vestal Virgins to ensure the fertility of the earth. Ops was a chthonic (underworld) deity so devotees prayed by sitting with their hands on the ground. Ludi circenses “chariot racing” took place in the Circus Maximus with the heads of horses and mules adorned with chaplets (prayer beads) made of flowers. See also the Opalia festival held on 19 December.
26 Augustdies comitiales[C]
27 AugustConsus sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daynefastus publicus[NP]ConsusDay sacred to Consus
Volturnalia festivalRoman festival, feasting, circus games, chariot racingVolturnus, JuturnaThe Volturnalia Roman festival to Volturnus the Roman god of the river Tiber, fountains and waters included feasting, wine drinking, circus games and Ludi circenses “chariot racing” to honor Volturnus and his daughter Juturna.
28 AugustSol and Luna temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremony, Roman gamesdies comitiales[C]Sol, LunaTemple anniversary to Sol and Luna, the Roman god of the sun and goddess of the moon. Circus games were added mid-first century CE.
29 Augustdies comitiales[C]
30 AugustCharisteria festivalRoman festival, thanksgivingdies comitiales[C]Charisteria/Charisteria was an early Roman thanksgiving festival.
31 Augustdies comitiales[C]
SeptemberSeptember takes its name from the roman adjective for seven (sept) based on the earlier 10 month calendar. September was the start of the Roman annual political and tax cycle.
1 September
Kalends
Juno sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies fastus[F]Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
Juno Regina temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyJuno ReginaJuno Regina “Juno the Queen” temple anniversary vowed by Camillus in 392 BCE for the capture of the city of Veii in 396 BCE using the Roman rite of evocatio successfully.
Jupiter Tonans temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyJupiter TonansJupiter Tonans “Thunderer” temple anniversary on the Capitoline hill.
Jupiter Liber/Libertas temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyJupiter Liber/LibertasJupiter Liber/Libertas temple anniversary on the Aventine hill restored and dedicated by Augustus.
2 Septemberdies fastus[F]
3 Septemberdies comitiales[C]
4 Septemberdies comitiales[C]
5 SeptemberJupiter Stator temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyJupiter StatorJupiter Stator temple anniversary, at one of the two temples to Jupiter Stator, to commemorate Jupiter’s help to Romulus which stopped an invasion by the Sabines.
Mammes vindemia festivalGreek / Roman wine festival, harvest festivalLiberMammes vindemia wine festival to Liber, the Roman god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine (originally to Greek god Dionysus) from mid-1st century CE.
Ludi Romani (15 days) startRoman festivals, Roman games, chariot racing
Day 1
Jupiter Optimus MaximusThe Ludi Romani originally honored Jupiter Optimus Maximus, whose temple was dedicated on 13 September 509 BCE. The games expanded from a single day to 15 days by the time of Caesar’s death in 44 BCE. The Ludi Romani were organized by the consuls and later by the curule aediles. The games opened with a pompa “solemn procession” from the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill to the Circus Maximus. A chariot race with driver and warrior followed. At the end of the chariot race the warrior leaps off and continues… running on foot as if running into battle. There were also horse riding exhibitions.
6 SeptemberRoman festivals, Roman games, stage gamesdies fastus[F]
Day 2
Ludi scaenici “stage games” i.e. theatrical performances including pantomime, tragedy and comedy.
7 SeptemberRoman games, stage gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 3
Stage games continue…
8 SeptemberRoman games, stage gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 4
Stage games continue…
9 SeptemberRoman games, stage gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 5
Stage games continue…
10 SeptemberRoman games, stage gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 6
Stage games continue…
11 SeptemberAsclepius temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremony, roman games, stage gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 7
Temple anniversary to Asclepius, the Greek hero and god of medicine and healing, in Rome.
12 SeptemberRoman games, stage gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 8
Stage games continue…
13 September
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)Sacred day, temple ceremony, public sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]JupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
Ludi Romani: Epulum Jovis lectisterniumRoman festivals, ritual feast, sacrifices
Day 9
Jupiter, Juno, MinervaEpulum Jovis was an elaborate lectisternium (ritual feast) to honor the Capitoline Triad. Statues of Jupiter reclined on a leculus “dining couch” and Juno and Minerva seated on sellae “chairs” by his side were dressed in fine garments at the most prestigious part of the table. Food was served, as if they were able to eat, and music was played. There was another less elaborate Epulum Jovis held on 13 November during the Ludi Plebeii.
Jupiter Optimus Maximus temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonyJupiter Optimus Maximus, MinervaTemple anniversary to Jupiter Optimus Maximus by Marcus Horatius Pulvillus, the first consul of the Roman Republic. In a templum “sacred space” devoted to Minerva the clavis annalis “year nail” ritual to avert plague was carried out. A nail was driven into the temple wall each year so by counting the nails you could work out the year.
14 SeptemberLudi Romani: Probatio Equorum cavalry reviewcavalry review, roman games, stage gamesdies fastus[F], dies religiosus
Day 10
Probatio Equorum cavalry review
15 SeptemberLudi Romani circus gamesRoman games, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 11
Ludi Romani circus games begin.
16 SeptemberLudi Romani circus gamesRoman games, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 12
Ludi Romani Circus games continue…
17 SeptemberLudi Romani circus gamesRoman games, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 13
Ludi Romani Circus games continue…
18 SeptemberLudi Triumphales Roman games (5 days) startRoman gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 14
Day 1
The Ludi Triumphales commemorate the victory of Constantine over Licinius at Chalcedon in 324 CE.
19 SeptemberLudi Romani end.Roman games, circus games, chariot racingdies comitiales[C]
Day 15
Circus games including Ludi circenses “chariot racing”.
Ludi Triumphales Roman games continue…
Day 2
Ludi Triumphales Roman games continue…
Mars festivalMarsSee also 1st, 9th and 23rd March.
20 SeptemberRomani market continues until 23 SeptemberMarket daydies comitiales[C]
Day 3
Day 1
Markets (Mercatus) and fairs were added to the calendar following major Roman games so visitors who travelled from outside the city could combine business with pleasure.
21 SeptemberMarket daydies comitiales[C]
Day 4
Day 2
22 SeptemberLudi Triumphales endMarket daydies comitiales[C]
Day 5
Day 3
Ludi Triumphales end.
23 SeptemberApollo and Latona temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremony, market daydies comitiales[C]
Day 4
Apollo, LatonaTemple of Apollo (and Latona) re-dedication anniversary at the open-air Theater of Marcellus.
Divus Augustus temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremony, circus gamesDivus AugustusTemple of Divus Augustus anniversary and circus games. Augustus was the first Roman Emperor to be deified by the Roman Senate as a state divinity (divus, pl divi) by “apotheosis” – person elevated to divine status.
24 Septemberdies comitiales[C]
25 Septemberdies comitiales[C]
26 SeptemberVenus Genetrix temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonydies comitiales[C]Venus GenetrixTemple anniversary to honor Venus Genetrix “Venus universal mother” in the forum of Caesar.
27 SeptemberProfectio Divi circus gamesCircus gamesdies comitiales[C]the DivineProfectio Divi “setting forth the Divine” with circus games.
28 Septemberdies comitiales[C]
29 SeptemberLudi Fatales (2 days) startRoman games, circus games, gladiatorsdies comitiales[C]
Day 1
the Parcae / the FatesLudi Fatales / Ludi Fatali from mid-1st century CE in honor of the Fates, with gladiatorial games, possibly some to the death.
30 SeptemberLudi Fatales endRoman games, circus games, gladiatorsdies comitiales[C]
Day 2
Meditrinalia festivalRoman festival, harvest festival, religious ceremony, wine festivalMeditrinaMeditrinalia Roman festival honoring Meditrina, the Roman goddess of wine, health, longevity, healing and medicine, with offerings of the new vintage offered as libations.
OctoberOctober takes its name from the roman adjective for eight (oct) based on the earlier 10 month calendar.
1 October
Kalends
Juno sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies nefastus[N]Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
Fides festivalRoman festival, temple ceremony, sacrifices, feastingFidesFides Roman festival to Fides, the Roman goddess of trust and good faith (bona fides). A covered wagon led a procession to the Temple of Fides on the Capitoline hill. The three flamines maiores (head preists): Flamen Dialis (Jupiter), Flamen Martialis (Mars) and Flamen Quirinalis (Quirinus) rode in the wagon with the fingers of their right hands wrapped in strips of white cloth. The flamens conducted sacrifices followed by a feast.
Sororium Tigillum festivalRoman festival, Roman ritual, sacrificesJuno Soraria, Janus CuriatiusSororium Tigillum Roman festival in honor of Juno Sororia, associated with the puberty of girls, and Janus Curiatius. Publius Horatius was the last surviving son of the Horatii (warrior heroes). On his return to Rome he was condemned to death for the earlier murder of his sister Camilla. Publius appealed to a peoples assembly who commuted his sentence. The Tigillum Sororium “sisters beam”, supported by two vertical posts, like a yoke, was erected (or a re-purposed purification gateway) on the south-west slope of the Oppian Hill. King Tullus Hostilius ordered two altars to be erected. Sacrifices to Juno Sororia, associated with the puberty of girls, and Janus Curiatius, associated with boys reaching manhood, were offered and rites associated with adolescent rites of passage performed. Publius Horatius was then made to pass under the beam with his head covered every year in atonement for his crime.
2 Octoberdies fastus[F]
3 OctoberLudi Augustales (10 days) startsRoman gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 1
The Ludi Augustales Roman games were established following the death of Augustus in 14 CE expanding on the earlier ludi Augustales and Augustalia (AVG) Roman religious festival which honored Augustus (first Roman emperor) on his return to Rome in 19 BCE with an altar to Fortuna Redux including sacrifices was inaugurated on 12 October and dedicated on 15 December 19 BCE.
4 OctoberIeiunium Cereris festivalRoman festival, fasting day, Roman gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 2
CeresThe Ieiunium Cereris Roman festival “fast for Ceres” honored Ceres, the Roman goddess of plant growth, first took place in 191 BCE following a series of unexplained natural events. The Senate ordered the Decemviri to consult the Sibylline books and a quinquennial (every five years) fasting day was declared. The festival may have been a political gesture to compensate the plebians, who favored Ceres, over the new patrician cult of Magna Mater. By the time of Augustus the festival had become an annual event. Originally held in Spring.
5 OctoberMundus Cerialis “World of Ceres” aka Mania festival [2 of 3]Roman festivals, Religious ceremony, Roman gamesdies comitiales[C], dies religiosus
2 of 3
Day 3
Ceres and other underworld deitiesSecond of three openings of the Mundus, a sacred pit, believed to be the portal to the underworld. The Lapis Manalis (stone lid of the Underworld) was removed allowing the spirits of the dead to enter the world and communicate with the living. Although the day is “dies comitalis” it’s also “dies religiosus” so any religious acts or new action would be inauspicious. The other two dates the Mundus was opened were 24 August and 8 November.
6 OctoberRoman gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 4
7 OctoberVictoria sacred dayRoman games, sacred daydies fastus[F]
Day 5
VictoriaSacred day to honor Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory.
Juno Cutitis festivalRoman festival, feasting, sacrificesJuno CutitisJuno Cutitis Roman festival honoring Juno Cutitis, the epithet of Juno who protected Roman spearsmen. Offerings to Juno Cutitis included barley and spelt cakes, fruits of the harvest and wine. Interestingly Juno Cutitis is the only Roman deity whose cult is known across all the curiae (tribes) of Rome.
Jupiter Fulgur festivalRoman festival, feasting, sacrificesJupiter FulgurJupiter Fulgur Roman festival to Jupiter Fulgur, the Roman god of daytime thunderbolts held at an open air (probably) shrine in the Campus Martius with sacrifices and feasting.
8 OctoberRoman Gamesdies fastus[F]
Day 6
9 OctoberFausta Felicitas festivalRoman games, temple ceremonydies comitiales[C]
Day 7
FelicitasFausta Felicitas Roman festival in honor of Genius Publicus (“Public Genius”), the embodiment of the public spirit.
Venus Victrix Roman festival and temple anniversaryRoman festival, temple anniversary, temple ceremony, sacrificesVenus VictrixVenus Victrix Roman festival and temple anniversary, with sacrifice, to honor Venus Victrix “Venus the Victorious”, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. She had a temple built by Pompeius Magnus in the Campus Martius and a shrine on the Capitoline hill.
Genius Publicus Roman festivalRoman festivalGenius PublicusGenius Publicus Roman festival in honor of Genius Publicus (“Public Genius”), the embodiment of the public spirit.
10 OctoberJuno Moneta temple anniversaryTemple anniversary, temple ceremonydies comitiales[C]
Day 8
Juno MonetaTemple re-dedication to Juno Moneta, the epithet of Juno responsible for protecting money and funds in general, on the Arx/citadel of Capitoline Hill. Originally dedicated earlier on 1 June.
11 OctoberMeditrinalia festivalRoman festival, religious festival, wine festivalnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 9
Jupiter, MeditrinaMeditrinalia Roman festival (most likely derived from “wine press) was originally an early rural agricultural wine festival to honor the new vintage with offerings to Jupiter. Later the Romans invented Meditrina, the Roman goddess of wine, longevity and medicine, probably to give the festival meaning. Wine was believed to have medicinal healing qualities. The new vintage was mixed with earlier vintages and enjoyed by all.
12 OctoberFortuna Redux sacred dayReligious festival, sacred day, Roman games, circus games, chariot racingdies comitiales[C]
Day 10
Fortuna ReduxAn altar to Fortuna Redux including sacrifices was inaugurated on 12 October and dedicated on 15 December 19 BCE.
Ludi Augustales endsLudi circenses “chariot racing” in the Circus Maximus took place on the last day to close the festival and games.
13 OctoberFontinalia festivalRoman festival, religious festivalnefastus publicus[NP]FonsFontinalia Roman festival “feast of the source” to honor Fontus, the Roman god of wells and springs, held outside the Porta Fontinalis. Garlands decorated, and were thrown into, wells and fountains along with coins.
14 OctoberThe Penates festivalRoman festival, temple ceremonyendotercisus[EN]the PenatesFestival in honor of di Penates “household deities”, who looked after store rooms and families, held on the Velian Hill.
15 October
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)Sacred day, temple ceremony, public sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]JupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
Winter’s DayWinter’s Day in several sources, but no addition information.
Mars harvest festivalRoman festival, harvest festivalMarsHarvest Festival to honor Mars.
Ludi Capitolini (16 days) startRoman festivals, Roman games, circus games, stage games, quadrennial
Day 1
Jupiter CapitolinusThe Capitolini games were instituted by Camillus in 387 BCE to commemorate Capitoline Hill, which did not fall to the Gauls when they sacked Rome earlier that year. The original games were held annually and organized by Capitolini priests to honor Jupiter Capitolinus. The games were anti-Etruscan. Etruscan captives were sold by auction and an old man, wearing a praetexta (child’s toga) and a bulla (amulet) like Etruscan kings was ridiculed. Over time the original Capitoline games declined and were replaced by Domitian in 86 CE with a Roman version of Greek Olympic style games held every five years with prizes for strength, agility and literary compositions keenly contested by athletes, poets, orators, historians, magicians and comedians with rewards and crowns bestowed by the Emperor himself.
16 OctoberLudi Capitolini continues…dies fastus[F]
Day 2
A procession (pompa) marched from the Capitol to the Circus Maximus including chariots. Each chariot included a games driver and a soldier rider.
17 OctoberLudi Capitolini continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 3
Roman games typically consisted of ludi scaenici “stage games” and ludi scaenici “theatrical performances” before ending with ludi circenses “chariot racing”.
18 OctoberLudi Capitolini continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 4
19 OctoberArmilustrium festivalRoman festival, religious ceremony, sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP], dies religiosusMarsThe Armilustrium Roman festival was dedicated to Mars and marked the end of the military campaigning season. The army was assembled in the Circus Maximus for review garlanded with flowers. The Salii (youthful dancing priests of Mars) led a procession with dances, torches, hymns and sacrificial animals on the Aventine Hill. The sacred war trumpets were blown and the soldiers surrendered their weapons for ritual purification and stored along with the sacred shields and armor of Mars until the next campaign season. See also 1st and 23rd March and 29 May.
Ludi Solis (4 days) starts.
Ludi Capitolini continues…
Roman games, circus games, stage games
Day 1
Day 5
SolLudi Solis (Solar games for Sol) instituted by Aurelian in 274 CE to celebrate his triumph over Zenobia.
20 OctoberLudi Solis continues…
Ludi Capitolini continues…
dies comitiales[C]
Day 2
Day 6
Ludi Solis included theatre performances, circus games, gladiatorial games, hunts and naumachiae.
21 OctoberLudi Solis continues…
Ludi Capitolini continues…
dies comitiales[C]
Day 3
Day 7
Naumachia were mock sea battles, sometimes in areas flooded with water.
22 OctoberLudi Solis ends.
Ludi Capitolini continues…
chariot racingdies comitiales[C]
Day 4
Day 8
The Sol games culminated with 36 circus races in the Circus Maximus.
23 OctoberLudi Capitolini continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 9
24 OctoberLudi Capitolini continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 10
25 OctoberLudi Capitolini continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 11
26 OctoberLudi Victoriae Sullae (7 days) starts.
Ludi Capitolini continues…
dies comitiales[C]
Day 1
Day 12
VictoriaLudi Victoriae Sullae “Games for Sulla’s Victory” honor Victoria and celebrated the victory of Sulla at the Colline Gate in 82 BCE.
27 OctoberLudi Victoriae Sullae continues…
Ludi Capitolini continues…
dies comitiales[C]
Day 2
Day 13
28 OctoberIsia festival (7 days) starts with Castu IsidisRoman festival, Isiac festival, fasting daydies comitiales[C]
Day 1
Isis (Egyptian)The Isia Roman festival commemorated the Egyptian goddess Isis’s discovery and reconsitution of Osiris’s corpse. The Isia festival started with the Castu Isidis, a day of mourning, loss and abstention.
Ludi Victoriae Sullae continues…
Ludi Capitolini continues…
Day 3
Day 14
29 OctoberLudi Victoriae Sullae continues…
Isia festival continues…
Ludi Capitolini continues…
dies comitiales[C]
Day 4
Day 2
Day 15
30 OctoberLudi Capitolini end.Chariot racingdies comitiales[C]
Day 16
The Capitolini games probably culminated with chariot racing in the Circus Maximus.
Ludi Victoriae Sullae continues…
Isia festival continues…
Day 5
Day 3
31 OctoberLudi Victoriae Sullae continues…
Isia festival continues…
dies comitiales[C]
Day 6
Day 4
NovemberNovember takes its name from the roman adjective for nine (nov) based on the earlier 10 month calendar.
1 November
Kalends
Juno sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies fastus[F]Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
Ludi Victoriae Sullae ends.chariot racing
Day 7
The Sulla victory games culminated with exciting ludi circenses “chariot races” in the Circus Maximus.
Isia festival: Heuresischariot racing
Day 5
Osiris (Egyptian)Heuresis “discovery” ceremony of the return to life of Egyptian god Osiris who was “reborn from himself” with 24 chariot races.
Pomonia
2 NovemberIsia festival: Ter novenaReligious ceremonydies fastus[F]
Day 6
Ter novena – joyful choral singing by twenty seven men
3 NovemberIsia festival endsReligious ceremonydies comitiales[C]
Day 7
Hilaria. Joy for the return of Osiris
4 NovemberLudi Plebeii “Plebeian games” (14 days) startsRoman games, circus games, stage games, feastingdies comitiales[C]
Day 1
The Ludi Plebeii “Plebeian Games” were first established as a public festival in 220 BCE but it’s probable the games were held by the plebs “common people” as far back as the 5th century BCE, possibly at the Circus Flaminius. The Plebeian games opened with a procession of priests and magistrates from the Capitoline through the Forum along the via sacra to the Circus Maximus.
5 NovemberLudi Plebeii continues…Roman gamesdies fastus[F]
Day 2
The first week of the Plebeian Games included ludi scaenici “stage games” and ludi scaenici “theatrical performances”.
6 NovemberLudi Plebeii continues…Roman gamesdies fastus[F]
Day 3
Stage games and theatrical performances continue…
7 NovemberLudi Plebeii continues…Roman gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 4
Stage games and theatrical performances continue…
8 NovemberMundus Cerialis “World of Ceres” aka Mania festival [3 of 3]Religious ceremonydies comitiales[C]
Day 5
Ceres, underworld deitiesThird of three openings of the Mundus, a sacred pit, believed to be the portal to the underworld. The Lapis Manalis (stone lid of the Underworld) was removed allowing the spirits of the dead to enter the world and communicate with the living. Although the day is “dies comitalis” it’s also “dies religiosus” so any religious acts or new action would be inauspicious. The other two dates the Mundus was opened were 24 August and 5 October.
Ludi Plebeii continues…Stage games and theatrical performances continue…
9 NovemberLudi Plebeii continues…Roman gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 6
Stage games and theatrical performances continue…
10 NovemberLudi Plebeii continues…Roman gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 7
Stage games and theatrical performances continue…
11 NovemberLudi Plebeii continues…Roman gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 8
12 NovemberLudi Plebeii continues…Roman gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 9
13 November
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)Sacred day, temple ceremony, public sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 10
JupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
Ludi Plebeii: Epulum Jovis lectisterniumReligious ceremony, ritual feast, sacrificesJupiter, Juno, MinervaEpulum Jovis “feast to Jupiter” lectisternium (ritual feast) to honor the Capitoline Triad. Statues of Jupiter reclined on a couch with Juno and Minerva seated on chairs by his side were arranged as if they were partaking in the sacrificial feast carried out by the priests. There was another more elaborate Epulum Jovis held on 13 September during the Ludi Romani.
Feronia festival.Roman festivalFeronia, Juno, MinervaFeronia was the Roman goddess of fertility, wildlife, abundance, health and granted freedom and/or civil rights to slaves.
Fortuna Primigenia festivalRoman festival, temple anniversaryFortuna PrimigeniaProbable temple anniversary to honor Fortuna Primigenia at her third temple in Rome, the exact location is unknown. The main Fortuna Primigenia festival is on 25 May.
14 NovemberLudi Plebeii: Probatio equorumReligious ceremony, horse paradedies fastus[F], dies religiosus
Day 11
Cavalry parade and probatio equorum “review of the horses”
15 NovemberLudi Plebeii, chariot racingRoman games, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 12
Circus games
16 NovemberLudi Plebeii, chariot racingRoman games, circus gamesdies comitiales[C]
Day 13
Circus games
17 NovemberLudi Plebeii endRoman games, circus games, chariot racingdies comitiales[C]
Day 14
The Plebeian games culminated with exciting ludi circenses “chariot races” in the Circus Maximus.
18 NovemberPlebeii market daysMarket day
Day 1
Plebeii market days continue… until 20 November. Market days (mercatus) and fairs were added to the calendar following major Roman games so visitors who travelled from outside the city could combine business with pleasure.
19 NovemberPlebeii market continues…Market daydies comitiales[C]
Day 2
Plebeii market day.
20 NovemberPlebeii market days endMarket daydies comitiales[C]
Day 3
Last plebeii market day.
21 Novemberdies comitiales[C]
22 Novemberdies comitiales[C]
23 Novemberdies comitiales[C]
24 NovemberBrumalia festival startsdies comitiales[C]
Day 1
Saturn, Ceres, BacchusDuring Brumalia farmers sacrificed pigs to Saturn and Ceres. Vine-growers sacrificed goats to Bacchus. Civic officials took offerings of first-fruits, including olive oil, wine, honey and grain, to the priests of Ceres. Brumalia was a month long party, madness and merriment to celebrate the winter solstice.
25 NovemberProserpina sacred day
Brumalia festival continues…
sacred daydies comitiales[C]
Day 2
ProsperinaDay sacred to Proserpina, the Roman goddess of springtime and Queen of the underworld. Often combined with Libera, see also Liberalia festival on 25 May.
26 NovemberBrumalia festival continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 3
Brumalia festival continues…
27 NovemberBrumalia festival continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 4
Brumalia festival continues…
28 NovemberBrumalia festival continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 5
Brumalia festival continues…
29 NovemberSaturn festival
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festivaldies comitiales[C]
Day 6
SaturnSaturn festival.
Brumalia festival continues…
30 NovemberBrumalia festival continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 7
Brumalia festival continues…
DecemberDecember takes its name from the roman adjective for ten (deci) based on the earlier 10 month calendar.
1 December
Kalends
Juno sacred dayReligious roman festivals, sacred daydies nefastus[N]Juno, JanusThe first day of every month (Kalends) is sacred to Juno. The public are called to the Curia Calabra by the Pontifex minor where he and the Rex Sacrorum offer a sacrifice to Juno. Janus is also invoked.
Neptune temple ceremonyTemple ceremonyNeptuneTemple ceremony to Neptune, the Roman god of the sea and freshwater, at the Neptune temple near the Circus Flaminius in the southern area of the Campus Martius. It was built before 206 BCE.
Pietas temple ceremonyTemple ceremonyPietasTemple ceremony to Pietas, the Roman divine personification of piety, was vowed by Manius Acilius Glabrio at the Battle of Thermopylae in 191 BC.
Brumalia festival continues…
Day 8
Brumalia festival continues…
2 DecemberBrumalia festival continues…dies nefastus[N]
Day 9
Brumalia festival continues…
3 DecemberBona Dea festival
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festival, religious ceremony, women onlydies nefastus[N]
Day 10
Bona DeaFestival to Bona Dea, the Roman goddess protector of women and the Roman state, held at the house of the senior city official, rather than the Bona Dea temple. The Vestal Virgins assisted the official’s wife (only women were allowed to attend), through the secret rites which were probably agricultural and probably included the sacrifice of a sow. One of several Roman festivals for women.
4 DecemberMinerva festival
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festivaldies comitiales[C]
Day 11
MinervaFestival for Minerva, the Roman goddess of battle and patroness of wisdom and the arts.
5 DecemberFaunalia Rustica festival
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festival, feasting, religious ceremonydies fastus[F]
Day 12
FaunusRustic festival to Faunus, the Roman god of prophecy, god of the forest, plains and fields held in the countryside. Peasants brought Faunus rustic offerings, there was feasting and revelry, slaves singing and dancing, and livestock running free. The Faunalia festival on 13 February was held in the city.
6 DecemberBrumalia festival continues…dies fastus[F]
Day 13
Brumalia festival continues…
7 DecemberBrumalia festival continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 14
Brumalia festival continues…
8 DecemberTiberinalia festival
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festivaldies comitiales[C]
Day 15
Tiberinus, GaiaThe Tiberinalia Roman festival, honoring Father Tiber is included on the Filocalus calendar for 354 CE. It’s probable that the Tibernalia Roman festival was a result of dedications made to Tiberinus by emperors Diocletian and Maximianus. There’s also a Tiberinalia festival on 8 December.
9 DecemberBrumalia festival continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 16
Brumalia festival continues…
10 DecemberLux Mundi festival
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festival, religious ceremonydies comitiales[C]
Day 17
LibertasThe Lux Mundi “light of the world” Roman festival honored Libertas, the Roman personification of liberty and bringer of light into the world.
11 DecemberSeptimontia festival
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festival, sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 18
Septimontium was also held on this day which celebrates the incorporation of the Seven Hills of Rome as a single city. Seven sacrifices were made in seven different places, one on each hill. Feasts and chariot races were also part of the festivities. During the Republic, horse-drawn carriages were not used on this day.
Diva Palatua festivalDiva PalatuaFestival for Diva Palatua Diva Palatua is the protector of the Palatime Hill.
Agonalia festivalRoman festival, sacrifices, religious ceremony
4 of 4
Janus, Liber Pater, Vediovius, Sol IndigesThe Agonalia religious Roman festivals were held at the Regia, near the Forum in the center of Rome. The Rex Sacrorum “king of the sacred” sacrificed a ram to Janus. Four Agonaliae Roman festivals were held during the year, the other three were held on 9 January, 17 March and 21 May.
12 DecemberConsus festival
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festivalendotercisus[EN]
Day 19
ConsusFestival in honor of Consus, the Roman god of grain preservation and storage. Less important than the two Consualia Roman festivals head annually on 21st August and 15th December.
13 December
Ides
Jupiter sacred day (Feriae Iovi)
Brumalia festival continues…
Sacred day, temple ceremony, public sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 20
JupiterThe Ides were sacred to Jupiter. Ovis idulis, “sheep of the ides” (either a white ewe i.e. female lamb or a white wether i.e. castrated ram) was led along Rome’s Sacred Way to the Capitoline Citadel and sacrificed to Jupiter by the flamen Dialis (high priest of Jupiter).
Lectisternium CereisLectisternium, temple anniversaryCeresLectisternium “ritual feast” to Ceres, Roman goddess of the bounty, on the temple anniversary.
Tellus festivalRoman festivalTellusTellus Roman festival honoring the Roman goddess of the Earth held in the Carinae district of Rome, on the Esquiline Hill.
14 DecemberBrumalia festival continues…dies fastus[F]
Day 21
Brumalia festival continues…
15 DecemberConsualia festival [2 of 2]Temple ceremony, religious ceremony, Roman games, chariot racing, harvest festivalnefastus publicus[NP]
2 of 2
Consus, Neptunus EquestrisThe second of two Consualia Roman festivals marked the end of the harvest and start of winter, in honor of Consus, the Roman god of grain preservation and storage. Like grain storage vaults the altar to Consus was underground, at the Circus Maximus, and only uncovered during Consualia. The Flamen Quirinalis and the Vestal Virgins set up the altar to Consus and other ancient agricultural deities such as Segesta and Tutilina and made offerings of the first fruits of the harvest to the gods before covering the altar. Above ground the Rex Sacrorum “king of the sacred” made a ceremonial parade lap on a chariot around the Circus Maximus after which chariot races were held. The chariots were pulled by both horses and mules because both animals were sacred to Consus. Horses, mules and asses were not worked during Consualia and were adorned with flowers and garlands. The first Consualia festival to mark the start of the harvest was held on 21st August.
Brumalia festival continues…
Day 22
Brumalia festival continues…
16 DecemberSapientia festivalfestivaldies comitiales[C]
Day 23
SapientiaSapientia (Sophia) festival, a Christian martyr and personification of wisdom, who, according to legend, was killed by emperor Hadrian along with her three children, Faith, Hope and Charity on the Aurelian way.
17 DecemberSaturnalia festival begins (7 days)
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festival, temple ceremony, sacrifices, feasting, harvest festivalnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 1
Day 24
The Saturnalia Roman midwinter festival was instigated by Janus to thank Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture, sowing and wealth for the introduction of agriculture to Italy. Saturnalia was originally a three day festival (17-19 December) and although it was officially lengthened and shortened in private most households celebrated for around a week. A cry of “Io Saturnalia!” and the sacrifice of young pigs at the temple of Saturn, on the Forum, started the public celebrations.
Movable eventCompitalia festival (3 days) usually held between 17 December and 5 JanuaryMovable Roman festivals. Feriae conceptivae (movable feast), oscilla hanging
Day 1
Lares CompitalesCompitalia was a three day Roman festival starting with the sacrifice of a hen on an altar at a local crossroads. The Lares Compitales were the household deities of the crossroads. Pilae (crude figures made of wax, wood and wool) were also hung on trees (like oscilla) one for each slave and child in the family, in the hope the Lares would spare the living. The Compitalia dates were set by various religious and political authorities.
18 DecemberEponalia festival
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festival, feastingdies comitiales[C]
Day 25
EponaEpona “divine mare” was a Celtic-Roman goddess protector of horses, mares, ponies, donkeys, mules and fertility. Shrines to Epona were decorated with roses and horses, donkeys and mules were given a day of rest.
Movable eventCompitalia festival continues…Movable Roman festivals, Feriae conceptivae (movable feast)
Day 2
Compitalia festival continues…
Saturnalia continues…
Day 2
At the Temple of Saturn the sacrificed pigs were served at a public feast. Slaves were given the day off and waited on by their masters. Wine flowed and revelry ensued. A Saturnalicius princeps “King of Saturnalia” was elected by dice who could issue commands to dance, sing or generally make fools of themselves. Halls were decorated with greenery, lamps and candles to dispel the mid-winter darkness. The Saturnalia holiday was one of the most important and popular Roman festivals.
19 DecemberOpalia festival
Saturnalia festival continues…
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festival, religious ceremony, harvest festival, roman games, chariot racingnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 3
Day 26
Ops, ConsusOpalia harvest festival to Ops, the ancient Roman earth-mother goddess of fertility and plenty. A sacred room in Ops’ temple was opened by the Vestal Virgins and the Flamines (preistess) of Quirinus who wore a white veil. Secret rites were performed by the Vestal Virgins to ensure the fertility of the earth. Ops was a chthonic (underworld) deity so devotees prayed by sitting with their hands on the ground. Ludi circenses “chariot racing” took place in the Circus Maximus with the heads of horses and mules adorned with chaplets (prayer beads) made of flowers. See also the Opiconsivia festival held on 25 August.
Movable eventCompitalia festival ends.Movable Roman festivals, Feriae conceptivae (movable feast)
Day 3
Compitalia festival ends.
Juventas festivalRoman festivalJuventasFestival to honor Juventas, the ancient Roman goddess of young men who had just come of age (to wear the adult toga), youth and rejuvenation.
20 DecemberSaturnalia continues…
Brumalia festival continues…
dies comitiales[C]
Day 4
Day 27
During Saturnalia social norms were turned upside down. Households drew lots to elect a Saturnalicius princeps “King of Saturnalia” who could give commands. Against a general background of peace and goodwill to all gambling in public was allowed, partying and drunkenness was commonplace as was camaraderie and role reversals between masters and slaves.
21 DecemberAngeronalia festival aka Divalia festivalRoman festival, temple ceremony, sacrificesnefastus publicus[NP]
Day 5
Day 28
Angerona / Angeronia, Hercules, CeresDivalia festival or Angeronalia Roman festival in honor of Angerona, as Roman goddess of fertility of the earth, especially city lands and crops. Sacrifices were made to Angerona, Hercules and Ceres in the Sacellum Volupiae (temple of Volupia), on the Via Nova by the Porta Romana, which contained a statue of Angerona with a finger on her mouth, which was bound and closed.
22 DecemberThe Lares temple anniversary
Saturnalia continues…
Brumalia festival continues…
temple anniversarydies comitiales[C]
Day 6
Day 29
the LaresTemple anniversary of the Lares Permarini, Roman protectors of navigation, in the Porticus Minucia on the edge of the Campus Martius.
23 DecemberLarentalia festival
Brumalia festival continues…
Roman festival, religious ceremonynefastus publicus[NP]
Day 30
Acca Larentia, the LaresThe Larentalia Roman festival honored Acca Larentia who may have the mother of the Lares, the lupa “she-wolf” (which is also the Roman word for prostitute) that succled Romulus and Remus, the wife of the shepherd that found Romulus and Remus or any combination of those! The rites were led by the Flamen Quirinus who held funeral rites for Acca Larentia at her tomb.
Saturnalia: SigillariaRoman festival, market day
Day 7
Saturnalia ends with the exchange of gifts. Traditional gifts of wax and pottery figurines along with food, wine, joke presents and silver trinkets could all be purchased at the Sigillaria market, at one time located in the Colonnade of the Argonauts. Saturnalia adopted elements from the earlier Greek Cronia harvest festival and we can see the traditions adopted as part of winter solstice festivals around the world today.
24 DecemberBrumalia festival continues…dies comitiales[C]
Day 31
Brumalia festival continues…
25 DecemberBrumalia festival endsRoman festival, winter solsticedies comitiales[C]
Day 32
Bacchus, Saturn, CeresThe month long Brumalia festivities and revelry, which started on 24 November to celebrate the winter solstice, closing the longest of all Roman festivals.
Sol Invictus temple anniversarytemple anniversary, temple ceremonySol InvictusTemple of the Sun anniversary (Dies Natalis Invicti Solis) in honor of Sol Invictus who became the official sun god of the Roman Empire when a new Temple of the Sun, in the Campus Agrippae, was dedicated on 25 December 274 CE by Roman emperor Aurelian following his campaign against Palmyra. There were three other Sol temples in Rome in the Circus Maximus, Trastevere and on the Quirinal.
26 Decemberdies comitiales[C]
27 Decemberdies comitiales[C]
Movable eventCompitalia festival (3 days) held between 17 December and 5 JanuaryMovable Roman festivals, religious ceremony, sacrificesdies comitialis[C]
Day 1
Lares Compitales (Lares of the crossroads)Compitalia was originally a one day agricultural Roman festival, fixed by the Praetor Urbanus between 17 December and 5 January, at a crossroads, between farms, outside Rome. Compitalia took place between 3-5 January in early Roman empire. Shrines of the Lares Compitales were set up and altars for blood sacrifices (usually a hen) followed by feasting. When Augustus reorganized Rome into 265 vici (districts) in 1 BCE and ordered shrines to be erected at all the crossroads between districts the Lares Compitales became associated with the Genius Augusti (origin of the Lares Augusti). Compitalia was transformed into a three day public urban Roman festival run by the magistri vicoru (district leaders). The ceremony was followed by games and sporting competitions.
28 Decemberdies comitiales[C]
Movable eventCompitalia festival continues…Movable Roman festivals
Day 2
Compitalia festival continues…
29 Decemberdies comitiales[C]
Movable eventCompitalia festival endsMovable Roman festivals
Day 3
Compitalia festival ends
30 Decemberdies comitiales[C]
31 Decemberdies comitiales[C]
FAQ and Notes about ADDucation's Roman Calendar of Festivals List

Notes and FAQ about ADDucation’s Roman Calendar of Celebrations List:

  • This list of Roman festivals calendar has been complied from dozens of (often conflicting) sources including, but not limited to:
    • Chronography of 354 Calendar (Codex-Calendar of 354), an illuminated manuscript produced in 354 AD for Valentinus, a wealthy Roman Christian, by illuminator and calligrapher Furius Dionysius Filocalus
    • Little Dictionary of Roman Institutions by Karl Maurer, Appendix E lists the Main Republican Roman Festivals & Ludi.
    • The numerous references in the works of Varro (116-27 BC), Roman poet Ovid (43 BC ~ 17 AD) and other Roman historians.
  • New evidence and research by scholars and historians means ADDucation’s table of Roman festivals can only ever be a work in progress but you can help us resolve any issues and improve the list by adding your comments below.
Roman Calendar Changes Explained

Roman Calendar Changes

  • The first Roman calendar was instigated by King Romulus when he founded Rome in 753 BCE. It comprised 10 months made up of six 30 day months and four 31 day months, a total of 304 days which left 61 day unallocated. The New Year started in March and ended in December.
  • Around 713 BCE King Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, added January and February which resulted in a 354 day calendar year. Unfortunately this caused problems because it did not align with the seasons.
  • When Julius Caesar came to power in 49 BCE he ordered a reformation of the Roman calendar. The Julian calendar came into force in 45 BCE. Each year had twelve months, 365 days and a leap day every four years, to align with the solar cycle.
  • The Gregorian calendar (named after Pope Gregory XIII and introduced in 1582) tweaked the average length of the calendar year to more accurately align with the equinoxes but remains broadly similar to the Julian calendar.
Roman Calendar Lunar Cycle, Kalends, Nones and Ides Days of the Month Explained

Roman Calendar Lunar Cycle

The Roman calendar was based on the first three phases of the moon and days were counted backwards. Kalends spanned at least two lunar phases from the day after the full moon, through the last quarter moon and until another lunar crescent was sighted:

  • Kalends/Calends (Kal): New Moon. The first day of each month.
  • Nones (Non): First quarter moon. The number of days after Kalends was decided by the Pontifex Maximus after the new moon sighting, usually 5 or 7 days.
  • Ides (Id): Full moon. The Ides marked the middle of each month. The Ides fell one day before the middle of each month depending on the length of the month i.e. the 15th or 13th day.

The day before the nones, ides and kalends was called pridie (eve) and the day after was called postridie, and considered unlucky days – as were even numbered days in general.

Latin Commonly Used in Roman Festival Calendars (C)(F)(N)(NP)(EN)(*1)

Latin Used in Roman Calendars

Each day of the year was allocated one of these:

  • [C]Dies comitialis (C): Elections and voting on political matters allowed. Legislation on criminal matters allowed.
  • [F]dies fastus[F] (F): Praetors allowed to exercise general powers, hold court proceedings. Legal action and other secular activities allowed.
  • [N]Dies nefastus (N): Praetors forbidden to exercise legal or judicial powers. Voting and secular activities forbidden.
  • [NP]Nefastus publicus (NP): Public religious day. Legal action and public voting was forbidden.
  • [EN]Endotercisus (EN): dies fastus[F] in the morning and dies comitalis in the afternoon.

Some days were also declared [*1]dies religiosus when only the basic necessities of life should be attended to. No political assemblies, religious acts, marriages, enlistment of soldiers or battles were allowed and nothing new should be started.

Finally, have you spotted a mistake in our Roman festivals calendar list? Have we missed any Roman festivals? Please let us know by adding your comments below…


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