Saturday, March 04, 2006

Ante Diem IV Nonas March

Modern Date : March 4th

Ante Diem IV Nonas March
Fourth Day to the Nones of March

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

The Festival of Mars
This is the fourth day of the Festival of Mars. The daily spectacle of the priests of Mars leaping and dancing through the streets of Rome would continue this day.

In 1968, the Church of All Worlds (CAW) formed in Missouri to become the first Wiccan Church to do so in the US.

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 Greece, this day was celebrated as the Anthesteria. The three day Greek festival of Anthesteria honors departed souls or keres. It is a festival dedicated to Flora, Hecate, and Dionysus with the intent to "feed" the dead in the hope that the ancestors might bring good fortune to the living and not cause any mischief around living family members.

The festival begins with flowers, phallic processions, and the opening of the newly fermented bottles of wine. The living ritually purify themselves by bathing and making sacrifice to Dionysus. They slaughter calves and share the meat with the god, incinerating some of the meat that it might float up into the air (the custom for sacrificing to all Olympian gods), and eating the rest of it as a shared feast.

The major ritual of the festival is the Choe, libations poured for the dead. The living drink wine and eat with the dead, believing that Dionysic revelry is not limited to the living, but that in his Chthonic aspect as the “Lord of Souls,” that he grants ecstatic experiences to the dead. It is of importannce that the wine and food for the dead and the wine and food for the living never mix. For the food reserved for the dead is just that, not fit for the living. On the last day, visiting spirits are dismissed back to the underworld.

Feast of Ra
In the Egyptian calendar, the feast of Ra, Neter of the Sun, is held at Heliopolis' "City of the Sun", the original center of Ra worship. This festival honors in particular the life-giving properties of the Sun, and his role in marking the order of time (Month of Parmuti, day 19).

St. Casimir
In the Roman Catholic calendar, this is the feast of St. Casimir (born 1458), king of Poland. Given a choice between certain death from the austerities in which he sought mortification of the flesh, or a cure by food and marriage, Casimir chose a bony death at 25. His relics have long been especially efficacious; and when his tomb was opened in 1595, his body was incorrupt, and emitted the sweet odor of sanctity.