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Caristia

(22 February)

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman fresco from the house of Julius Polybius in Pompeii
Roman fresco from the house of Julius Polybius in Pompeii. We can see the offerings made for the benefit of deceased ancestors

Caristia was a Roman festival that was the closing ceremony of Parentalia in honor of their deceased ancestors. During this time, the families met for a feast. The household members offered food and incense to the Lares, the souls of the dead who guard the house.

The day of this feast was a day of reconciliation and all disputes were to be put aside. The poet Ovid ironically noted that this could only be achieved by excluding those family members who caused the most trouble. The festival is also known as Cara Cognatio and was celebrated on February 22nd.

Sources
  • Jaczynowska Maria, Religie świata rzymskiego, Warszawa 1987
  • Zieliński Tadeusz, Religia Rzeczypospolitej Rzymskiej

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