martedì 1 novembre 2011

Main festivals in honor of Mars

In ancient Rome the worship of Mars had a particular place. In the age of kings it was set up a council of priests, called Salii, that had to controll the twelve sacred shields: the Ancilia.
His festivals that were celebrated in March were:
  1. feriae Martis
  2. Equirria
  3. Agonium martialae
  4. Quinquatrus
  5. Tubilustrum
The feriae Martis were held from 1 March to 24 March. During it the twelve Salii Palatini rounded the town in procession, each carrying a Ancil, one of the twelve sacred shields, and stopping every night to a different station (mansio).

During the Equirria
the priests held ceremonies of purification of the army. Were also held horse races in Campo Martio.

During the Quinquatrus were cleaned the sacred shields.

During the Tubilustrum were cleaned the trumpets used by the Salii in their ceremonies and the weapons were prepeared after the winter.

In October there was also a festival, called Armilustrum, during the weapons were purified and prepeared for the pause of winter.