Thursday, January 26, 2006

Ante Diem VI Kalendas Februarias

Modern Date : January 27th

Ante Diem VI Kalendas Februarias
Sixth Day to the Kalends of February

This is one of the dies comitiales when committees of citizens could vote on political or criminal matters.

The emperor Nerva died on this day of apoplexy (stroke or brain hemhorrage) in 98 AD after a fit of anger. He was 62 and was succeeded by Trajan.

Columella says of this day, "The bright star on the breast of the Lion sets: sometimes it is a sign: the winter is divided into two parts at this point."

This month is sacred to Janus, the god of Beginnings. Janus is the porter of heaven and considered the guardian deity of gates and doors. He is often shown as two-headed since doors face both ways.

Sementivae Feria
The Sementivae Feria, feast of sowing, is a Roman holy day. Janus is called upon first, then sacrifices are made to Tellus, the earth, and Ceres, goddess of agriculture. All the minor deities who presided over the operations of farming are invoked: Vervactor, the god of breaking up fallow land; Reparator, of renewing its powers; Obarator, of ploughing; Occator, of harrowing; Imporcitor, of drawing furrows; Insitor, of grafting; Sarritor, of hoeing; Subruncinator, of weeding; Messor, of harvesting; Convector, of gathering in; Conditor, of storing up; Promitor, of bringing out for use. At the end, the farmers add to their prayers, sive deo, sive deoe "any unknown god, male or female."

Pre-New Year Visits
The day before New Year's Eve, the Chinese visit their relatives and pupils visit their teachers and charity is distributed to the poor.


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