Sunday, February 13, 2011

WTF? Where are the Sex Gods?

Oops. I'm a day ahead of myself. Get over it! So what is today anyway? Here's a quick description:

Parentalia. Roman festival for honoring one's dead parents. Families gathered among the tombs of loved ones and made offerings or sacrifices of grain and wine to their souls. The Parentalia was the first of three Roman festivals in February for appeasing the dead which started on the Ides and lasted until the 22nd. It typically fell on February 13 or 15, and was followed by the Feralia and Caristia. During this time all temples were closed, marriages were forbidden, and public officials suspended business for the duration of the festivals.

There were a few things mentioned in there, all of them having to do with Family. Parentalia: Honoring of Parents who have crossed over. Feralia: Honor spirits of the dead in general, including the restless dead who need to be driven out of a home or tricked out. The Caristia was a time to honor your family, like a family reunion. So there it is: Departed parents, all souls, living family.

Lupercalia has nothing really to do with this, it happens to fall during this time. If you want to ret-con it, you can explain it as a celebration of the Mother wolf, who was the Mother of Rome: Without her, there wouldn't have been a Romulus and no Rome named after him. The festival does have pre-Roman roots, so how do you ret-con that? heh.

Notice that the time to honor and gather with family comes right around the time the weather is once again good enough to travel. This was likely the first time extended family got together since the winter holidays.

How will I spend this time? I will visit my father's grave and leave offerings there, I will do the same for my grandmother and great-grandmother. I will cleanse my home of any unwanted spirits with offerings and noise and I will have my family over for some celebrating. Now that I mention it, I haven't seen them since before the new year.

Tomorrow, I will be posting a commentary on the SF Gate article Whip My Roman Sex Gods. It's a funny, snarky, basic article and I hope to finally expand and expound on it!

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