Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Ides of October

Modern Date : October 15th

Idus October
The Ides of October

This day is for special religious observance.

This day was called the Ides of Hercules, according to Prudentius. This day was also sacred to Jupiter and bridged the festivals of the Meditranalia and the Armilustrium. Sacrifices made today at the temples would lead to feasting in the streets to which the public and the poor were all invited. The celebrations would consist of games, music, dance and much drinking of wine. Horse races were held today in special honor of Jupiter, and in the two-horse chariot race on the Campus Martius the right side horse of the winning chariot was sacrificed to Mars. In a curious ceremony, a mock fight was staged over the head of the horse by the people on the Palatine (on the Subura) and those on the Esquiline (on the Sacra Via), with the winner hanging it on their respective tower.

Virgil, Rome's greatest poet, was born this day in 70 BCE.

Marcus Antoninus was renamed Germanicus, in honor of his triumph, this day in 172 AD.

October was the eighth month of the old Roman calendar and was sacred to the goddess Astraea, daughter of Zeus and Themis. The name October comes from Octo, meaning eight (March used to be the first month).

Makahiki, the Hawaiian New Year Festival, commemorating the emergence from Po (Chaos) of Papa the Earth Mother and Wakea the Sky Father, whose union produced the Akua, the Gods and Goddesses of Hawaii. In ancient Hawaii, roughly one third of the year was set aside as the “makahiki”. During this four-month season, which began in the month of Ikuwa (roughly late October to early November), warfare was forbidden. It was a time of playing games, celebrating the harvest, paying tribute to the chiefs, and honoring the god Lono. It was a time for storytelling, competitions, feasting, and dancing. Makahiki begins after the constellation of Pleiades appears in the fall.

St. Teresa of Avila
In the Roman Catholic Calendar, feast of the stigmata bearer and mystic St. Teresa of Avila. Her spectacular career of self-denial began when she was only seven, and ran away from her home hoping to be martyred by the Moors, who were no longer in Spain, having been forced either to convert or leave the country in 1492 by the same Ferdinand and Isabella who backed Columbus. In her early thirties, having become a Carmelite nun, she had a vision of the place she would occupy in hell if she did not overcome the weaknesses that held her back from complete and perfect devotion. She is often portrayed, at the moment when her heart was pierced by a shaft of divine love.


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