Roman Gods of the Month: March

The month of March is named for Mars, the Roman God of War. Besides war, Mars also protected the land and crops. Spring brought both preparations for planting and for war. The Feriae Marti (the Festival of Mars), lasts for nearly the entire month and is similar to the Carnival Season and Mardi Gras.

Traditionally, the New Year for Romans began in March, the first month of the original calendar. After the reforms of Numa Pompilis and Julius Caesar, it was still celebrated as a second New Year’s Day. The spring equinox was still the beginning of the planting and war seasons.

Juno Lucina
On March 1, the Matronalia is held in honor of mothers. Husbands and daughters give presents to mothers. Juno Lucina, the aspect of Juno who governs over women and childbirth, receives prayers for safe childbirth and fertility.

Anna Perenna
On March 15th (Ides), Traditional New Year is celebrated. Anna Perenna, the Goddess of the Returning Year, oversees the celebrations. People would picnic and drink cups of wine in her honor, and offer prayers for a prosperous year.

Liber Pater and Libera
On March 17, the Liberalia is held. Wearing ivy wreaths, several old women offer cakes made from oil and honey (libia) to Liber Pater. Then a large phallus is taken around to encourage the plants to grow and for a good harvest. Liber Pater and Libera are the Gods of the Male and Female Seeds, respectively.

From March 19 to 24, the Quinquatrus is held to honor Minerva, the Goddess of the Arts and War. Since the first day is sacred to Her, no blood is shed on that day. The Quinquatrus is celebrated by artisans and students. Traditional Roman festivities included martial arts contests.

Starting the 1st of the March and on the 9th, and 24th, the Salii (Leaping Priests of Mars) danced through the streets of Rome singing hymns, and later held feasts in honor of Mars. Horse races were held, sacrifices made, and trumpets purified. Mamurius Venturius, the Old Man of March, was driven out of Rome taking disease and sickness with Him.

Divus Julius (Caesar)
After being assassinated on the Ides of March, Julius Caesar became divine. Now as Divus Julius, He has a hero cultus. I honor Him during this month and in July (named for Him).


7 thoughts on “Roman Gods of the Month: March

  1. Pingback: Roman Gods of the Month: March — Neptune’s Dolphins | Die Goldene Landschaft

  2. By any chance do you know if it’s known how the Romans calculated and set their days? I’ve been putting together my personal calander in a Lunar format, attaching the Calends to the new moons and the ides to the full moon, but I can’t seem to find a consistant answer about how they saw their days to begin by. It also doesn’t help that a lot of Roman Polytheist spaces seem to be for only people who are part of the organizations like Nova Roma, or at least that’s been much of my experience thus far, and I’m just not interested in them at all. So It’s been a little hard finding good spaces to ask questions and have great conversations about things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well thanks for your comment and question. Ask away.

      The problem with the Roman calendar is that it went through several reforms. I use a Solar-Luna version. The original had the Kalends at the new moon, the Nones depending on the month 7 or 9 days after Kalends. The Ides were 13 or 15 days after that. I don’t have my calendar handy at the moment but I think you can find the answer to which months on-line.

      Is that what you are looking for? As for the division of market days, etc, I end up looking that up at the Nova Roma website. But I rarely follow that, although I do try to plan important things on “good” days and not “bad” i.e. nothing on the days of the Lemuria.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Roman Gods of the Month: March – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

  4. Pingback: The Spring Star : Astrological Links, the Double Conjunction! Jupiter and Venus conjoin, then Mercury and Saturn – Adventures of A Mage In Miami

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