Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Pridie Nonas March

Modern Date : March 6th

Pridie Nonas March
Day Before the Nones of March

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

The Festival of Mars
This is the sixth day of the Festival of Mars. The brotherhood of Roman warriors, the Salii, dance in honor of Mars in ancient Roman warrior garb. Leaping about, they rhythmically beat their figure-eight shields (ancilia) while holding spears.

Household gods in Rome are honored today as well. The Manes and Lares are honored at the Compitalia.

The title of Pontifex Maximus was conferred on Augustus in 12 BCE on this day.

The month of March belongs to the warlike Mars, the deity who personifies the protection of the state and the productivity of the community.

In the ancient Greek calendar, these days leading up to the Pisces New Moon are celebrated as the Anthesteria, honoring Dionysus as Plouton, Lord of the Dead. On these days, when the Sun has just entered Pisces and has begun the month of preparation for the New Earth Year on March 21, the virtuous dead may visit from Elysium to witness and sanctify the rite of the New Wine, when the first libations are poured in the god's honor, thus marking the passing away of the old vine and the fruition of the new.

Clean Monday
In Greece, the first Monday of Lent is called Clean Monday. Athenians spend the day outside, flying kites and picnicking, much like the Persian holiday of Thirteenth Outside.

The first meal of Lent consists of fish salads like taramosalata, a special kind of flat bread studded with sesame seeds and served only on this day of the year, and lots of wine.


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