Parentalia: A nine-day festival held in honor of family ancestors

‘Our ancestors left their tombs in night’s silent hour and wailed. The city streets and broad grassland howled, they say, with a hollow throng of shapeless souls.” - Ovid

In the month of February, there used to be an ancient festival called Parentalia (Latin pronunciation: [pa.renˈtaː.li.a]) or dies parentales (Latin pronunciation: [ˈdi.eːs pa.renˈtaː.les], "ancestral days") that was held over a 9 day period starting on February 13 and ended with the Feralia on February 21. The festival began with the performance of ceremonies in honor of the dead by the purest woman in the Roman society, a Vestal Virgin. (more…)

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