Glossary

Glossary of Roman Festivals During the Republic

The Romans had a lot of gods, and their religion was very formal and structured, so they had a lot of festivals throughout the year to honor various deities. Not all of these were specifically ‘religious’ in nature, like the Ludis, which were public games, but even those were done to honor a deity and often included the name of the deity. Like the Ludi Apollinares in honor of Apollo, or the Ludi Romani which honored Zeus.

Not all of these were observed just during the Republic; some are more ancient and plenty continued into the Empire.

Festival NameDescriptionApproximate Date
AmbarvaliaA festival dedicated to Ceres, goddess of agricultureMay 29th
AmburbiumA ritual procession around the boundaries of the city to purify and protect itDate varied
ArmilustriumA festival dedicated to Mars and military readinessOctober 19th
BacchanaliaA festival dedicated to Bacchus, god of wineMarch 16th – 17th
CarmentaliaA festival honoring Carmenta, goddess of childbirth and prophecyJanuary 11th – 15th
CerealiaA festival dedicated to Ceres, goddess of grainApril 12th – 19th
CompitaliaA festival celebrated at the crossroads, dedicated to the LaresLate December
ConsualiaA festival dedicated to Consus, god of grain storageDecember 15th
Epulum JovisA lavish feast held in honor of JupiterSeptember 13th
EquirriaA festival featuring horse races and military exercisesFebruary 27th
FeraliaA festival honoring the spirits of the dead, the ManesFebruary 21st
FloraliaA festival celebrating the goddess FloraApril 28th – May 3rd
FornacaliaA festival dedicated to the goddess Fornax, associated with bread-baking and ovensFebruary 17th – 21st
Fors FortunaA festival dedicated to the goddess FortunaJune 24th
FugaliaA festival with various interpretations, a common one being it celebrated the last king fleeing RomeJuly 5th
FurrinaliaA festival honoring Furrina, goddess of springsJuly 25th
LiberaliaA festival celebrating Liber and Libera, deities of fertility and freedomMarch 17th
Ludi ApollinaresGames and festivities in honor of ApolloJuly 6th – 13th
Ludi Apollinares (October)Games and festivities in honor of ApolloOctober
Ludi Apollinares (Quinquennales)Five-yearly games and festivities in honor of ApolloVaries
Ludi CapitoliniGames held on the Capitol HillSeptember 13th – 19th
Ludi FloralesGames in honor of the goddess FloraApril 27th – May 3rd
Ludi MagniThe “Great Games” featuring various spectaclesSeptember 4th – 19th
Ludi MegalensesGames dedicated to the Magna Mater (Cybele)April 4th – 10th
Ludi PlebeiiGames and theatrical performances by the plebeiansNovember 4th – 17th
Ludi Plebeii (July)Games and theatrical performances by the plebeiansJuly
Ludi Plebeii (November)Games and theatrical performances by the plebeiansNovember
Ludi Plebeii (September)Games and theatrical performances by the plebeiansSeptember
Ludi RomaniThe grandest games in honor of JupiterSeptember 4th – 19th
Ludi SaecularesGames held every 100 years to mark a new saeculumVaries
Ludi TauriiGames featuring bullfightingApril 21st
Ludi Victoriae AugustiGames held in honor of Emperor AugustusOctober 12th – 15th
Ludi Victoriae CaesarisGames held in honor of Julius CaesarJuly 20th
Ludi Victoriae SullanaeGames celebrating the victories of SullaMarch 29th
LupercaliaA festival of fertility and purificationFebruary 15th
MatronaliaA festival celebrating womenMarch 1st
MeditrinaliaA festival celebrating the new wine harvestOctober 11th
MegalesiaA festival in honor of the Magna Mater (Cybele), goddess of fertilityApril 4th – 10th
NemoraliaA festival dedicated to Diana, goddess of the huntAugust 13th
NeptunaliaA festival dedicated to Neptune, god of the seaJuly 23rd
Nonae CaprotinaeA festival honoring Juno CaprotinaJuly 7th
OpaliaA festival honoring Ops, goddess of abundanceDecember 19th
ParentaliaA festival honoring ancestors and deceased family membersFebruary 13th – 21st
PariliaA festival celebrating the founding of RomeApril 21st
PoplifugiaA festival commemorating the flight of the Romans from the city when attacked by the Ficulae and FidenaeJuly 5th
QuinquatriaA festival honoring Minerva, goddess of wisdomMarch 19th – 23rd
QuirinaliaA festival celebrating Romulus, founder of RomeFebruary 17th
RobigaliaA festival dedicated to Robigus, protector of cropsApril 25th
SaturnaliaA joyous festival honoring SaturnDecember 17th – 23rd
TerminaliaA festival celebrating Terminus, the god of boundariesFebruary 23rd
TubilustriumA purification ceremony for the war trumpets (tubae)March 23rd
Vinalia PrioraA festival celebrating the first fruits of the grape harvestApril 23rd
Vinalia RusticaA festival marking the completion of the grape harvestAugust 19th
VulcanaliaA festival honoring Vulcan, the god of fireAugust 23rd
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