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Feast days

Ancient and recent feast days, festivals, and celebrations from many cultures and religions.

Feastdays
FeastdayDate
Pax (Roman)January 03
The festival in honor of Pax, the personified Roman goddess of peace.
 
Imbolc (Celtic)February 01
The festival of Brigid. She ushers Spring to the land after The Cailleach's Winter reign. This mid-Winter feast commences as the ewes begin to lactate and is the start of the new agricultural cycle. During this time Brigid personifies a bride, virgin or maiden aspect and is the protectoress of women in childbirth. Imbolc also is known as Oimelc, Brigid, Candlemas, or even in America as Groundhog Day.
 
Lupercalia (Roman)February 15
The festival of Faunus, the Roman god of wild nature and fertility. Priests (called the Luperci) wearing goat skins walked through the streets of Rome and hit the spectators with belts made from goat skin.
 
Equirria (Roman)February 27
A festival in honor of Mars, the god of war. Horse races were held on this day. Again on March 14.
 
Matronalia (Roman)March 01
The primary feast of Juno Lucina. On this day, lambs and other cattle were sacrificed to her.
 
Feriae Marti (Roman)March 1
A festival in honor of Mars, the god of war.
 
Equirria (Roman)March 14
A festival in honor of Mars, the god of war. Horse races were held on this day, similar as on February 27.
 
Anna Perenna (Roman)March 15
The festival of Anna Perenna, the Roman goddess of the new year.
 
Quinquatrus (Roman)March 19
A festival in honor of Mars, the god of war. On this day which weapons and war-trumpets were cleansed.
 
Tubilustrium (Roman)March 23
A festival in honor of Mars, the god of war. On this day which weapons and war-trumpets were cleansed.
 
Fordicidia (Roman)April 15
The most prominent festival of Terra Mater, the goddess of fertility and growth. On this day cows being with young were sacrificed.
 
St. Bernadette (Christian)April 16
The feast day of St. Bernadette. At the age of 14 she claimed that she had experienced a number of visions of the Virgin Mary. Further more, the girl said that the Virgin had imparted miraculous powers of healing to the waters of a spring near a grotto in Lourdes. The Roman Catholic church declared her visions authentic, and the Lourdes grotto became a shrine for pilgrims.
 
Palilia / Parilia (Roman)April 21
The festival of Pales, the patron goddess of shepherds and flocks. Her festival was celebrated by shepherds on April 21, the legendary founding date of Rome. On that day large fires were made through which they drove the cattle.
 
Floralia (Roman)April 28 - May 01
The festival of Flores, the goddess of blossoming flowers of spring. It existed until the 4th century CE.
 
Walpurgis Night (Other)April 30
Formerly the date of the pagan festival marking the beginning of summer. Also May Day Eve or Beltane Eve.
 
Saint Walburga (Christian)May 01
The day of the Saint Walburga (8th century CE).
 
Bona Dea (Roman)May 01
The festival of Bona Dea, the Roman fertility goddess. Similarly to her festival on December 4, no men are allowed to be present here either.
 
Mens (Roman)May 08
The festival of Mens, the Roman goddess of mind and consciousness.
 
Mercuralia (Roman)May 15
The festival of Mercury. On this day the merchants sprinkled their heads and their merchandise with water from his well near the Porta Capena.
 
Carna (Roman)June 01
The festival of Carna, the Roman goddess associated with the bodily organs, particularly the heart.
 
Matralia (Roman)June 11
This festival of Matuta, the Roman goddess of the dawn. It was only open to women who were still in their first marriage.
 
Nonae Caprotinae (Roman)July 07
"The Nones of the Wild Fig". A festival in honor of Juno.
 
Funadama matsuri (Japanese)August 15
On August 15 at the Hodosan jinja, Saitama, the Funadama matsuri ("boat festival") is held. This festival dates from the Tokugawa period when travelers by raft from Chichibu to Eda prayed for safe passage on the Arakawa river. See Funadama.
 
Portunalia (Roman)August 17
The festival of Portunes, the Roman god of ports and harbors. On this day keys were thrown into the fire to safeguard them against misfortune.
 
Volcanalia (Roman)August 23
This festival of Vulcan which took place during the height of the Mediterranean drought and the period of highest risk of fire. On the banks of the river Tiber, fires were lighted on which living fish were sacrificed.
 
Meditrinalia (Roman)October 11
The festival of Meditrina, a Roman goddess of wine and health.
 
Fontus (Roman)October 13
The festival of Fontus.
 
Armilustrium (Roman)October 19
A festival in honor of Mars, the god of war. On this day the weapons of the soldiers were ritually purified and stored for winter.
 
Bona Dea (Roman)December 04
The day of Bona Dea. During this day secret rites were in the house of a prominent Roman magistrate. Only women were admitted and even representations of men and beasts were removed. At these secret meetings it was forbidden to speak the words 'wine' and 'myrtle' because Faunus had once made her drunk and beaten her with a myrtle stick.
 
Faunalia (Roman)December 05
The festival of Faunus, the Roman god of wild nature and fertility.
 
Saturnalia (Roman)December 17
In memory of this Golden Age, each year the Saturnalia was observed on December 17 at Saturn's temple on the Forum Romanum, below the Capitoline Hill. The Saturnalia was one of the major events of the year. Originally only one day, it was later extended to seven days. During this festival, business was suspended, the roles of master and slaves were reversed, moral restrictions were loosened and gifts were exchanged.
 
Larentalia (Roman)December 23
The festival of Larenta, the silent goddess. On this day offerings were brought to her in a mundus, a opened groove.
 

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