Pagan calendar


Current Date: May 27 2017 03:32:16 BST (DST in effect)
Heathen Date: Wash day, Merrymoon 27, 2267 RE
Pagan Calendar - Roman Calendar

Vestalia

Summary

Vestalia

Calendar

Roman

Date

Jun 07 Every year

Description

Vesta was the virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and family in Roman mythology. Though she is often mistaken as analogous to Hestia in Greek mythology; she had a large, albeit mysterious role in Roman religion long before she appeared in Greece. Vesta was much more important to the Romans than Hestia was to the Greeks. Little is known about the goddess, as unlike other Roman deities, she had no distinct personality, was never depicted and went without mention in myths. Vesta's presence was symbolized by the sacred flame that burned at her hearth and temples.

As goddess of the hearth, she was was also the symbol of the home, around which a newborn child must be carried before it could be received into the family. Every meal began and ended with an offering to her:

Vesta, in all dwellings of men and immortals
Yours is the highest honor, the sweet wine offered
First and last at the feast, poured out to you duly.
Never without you can gods or mortals hold banquet.

Every Roman city had a public hearth sacred to Vesta, with a fire that was never allowed to go out. If a new colony was to be established, the coals from the main city's hearth were taken with the colonists so that a fire could be kindled on the new city's hearth.

Vesta was celebrated at the Vestalia, June 7 to June 15. On the first day of the festivities the penus Vestae (the curtained sanctum sanctorum of her temple) was opened, for the only time during the year, for women to offer sacrifices in. Such sacrifices included the removal of an unborn calf from a pregnant cow.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestalia#Vestalia


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