Friday, February 17, 2006

Ante Diem XIII Kalendas March

Modern Date : February 17th

Ante Diem XIII Kalendas March
Thirteenth Day to the Kalends of March

This day is for special religious observance.

The Quirinalia
The Quirinalia is a holiday devoted to Mars, in the form known as Quirinus. This was not the warlike Mars, but an alter-ego embodied in the more father-like ancestral figure of Romulus. The celebration of the Quirinalia was a special devotion of the people who lived on one of seven hills of Rome still called by the same name today, the Quirinal.

Quirinus is also identified closely with Lupercus (via Romulus). Juno, the female dual equivalent of Jupiter, is also closely connected with Mars through cult and myth, and this day is thereby sacred to them both.

The emperor Jovian died this day in 364 AD.

February is a month in which particular reverence was shown to the spirits of deceased ancestors. This was a month devoted to fertility, both of men and women, and of the land.

Mars enters Gemini
On this day Mars enters Gemini, one of the "neutral" placements in which he is not totally comfortable, as he is mostly action and Gemini is mostly talk, but for Mars it beats being in the Moon-ruled water sign of Cancer (4/14), where he is said to be "in fall," and feels like a jock who has to learn macrame until the cast on his leg comes off.

This day was also called the Fornicalia, or the Festival of Fornax, the goddess of ovens (fornicator). This is the fifth day of the Parentalia. An old proverb says, “The oven is the mother.” In Roman mythology, she and her holy day play an important role in connection with the national bread, the Far. Fornacalia also helps plants in their coming growing season, and plants should be tended with extra care on this day.

Rome was divided into thirty divisions, and each section was responsible for choosing its own day in early February for performing the Fornicalia, or first fruit offering to Ceres of roasted wheat. As Rome grew larger, people grew confused about which section they belonged to, and so people were allowed to make their sacrifice on the Quirinalia, which was therefore called the Feast of Fools.

The Evil Age
The Hindus believe that Kali Yuga, or the Evil Age, began on this day in the year 3102 BC. This is considered the last and most sinful of all the four ages of man and is supposed to continue for 432,000 years at which time the world will be destroyed by the goddess Kali. The cycle will then begin again with the Krita Yuga, the Golden Age of Truth.

In the Japanese Shinto calendar this day is Toshigoi, when rites are held in honor of Kuni - Tokotachi - no - Kami, the primordial creator Deity of whom all other Kami are manifestations. Prayers are offered on this day for an abundant rice harvest.

Rats' Wedding Day
On the 19th day of the first lunar month, the Chinese retire early so as not to disturb the rats. This is also called the Gathering of the Hundred Gods. Newly married daughters may visit their parents only on this day during the month.

Lesser Eleusinian Mysteries
From the 20th to the 24th days of the Greek lunar month of Anthesterion, those who were planning to participate in the Eleusinian Mysteries in the fall came to Agrae in Greece for the initial purification rites, which included rubbing with ashes, plunging into the ocean, donning new clothes, processing by torchlight and asking the goddess for guidance.