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(17 February)

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Mosaic showing the baking of bread
Mosaic showing the baking of bread

Fornacalia was a Roman festival celebrated on February 17. The festival was celebrated in honor of Fornax, who was the Roman goddess of the bread oven (fornax) or patron of the bread baking process. It was a kind of personification of the oven that prevented the bread from baking.

The festival was celebrated among thirty curias (curiae), the oldest divisions of Rome, created by the mythological Romulus of the three original tribes of Rome.

It is believed that during the feast, the Roman family from each curia used to spread some grain around the house to make sure that the home stoves did not burn down during the year.

  • W. Smith, W. Wayte, G. E. Marindin, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities

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