This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.


(17 March)

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

A statue showing a young Roman boy
Roman boy wearing a toga praetexta with an amulet around his neck to protect him from charms

Liberalia was a Roman holiday celebrated on March 17 in honour of Liber Pater and the goddess Libera. The cult of god Liber Pater was initially associated with horses and grain, was associated with vegetation and fertility of nature, and with rites associated with the production of wine. Later, Liber was identified with the Greek Dionysus.

Liber, together with Ceres and Libera, belonged to the so-called plebeian triad, which was built a temple in Rome on the Aventine during the war with the Latinos. The temple was consecrated in 493 BCE for the consulate of Spurius Cassius, three years after the vow of its construction by the dictator Aulus Postumius.

On the feast day, the Romans made sacrifices, made processions, sang songs and hung masks on trees. The festival aimed to celebrate the symbolic transition of a young man into adulthood, aged 15-16. Then the boy solemnly removed his amulet – bull praetexta – from his neck, made of gold or leather, and given to him by his parents to protect him from charms. The young man laid the amulet on the altar with his hair from the head or facial hair and gave it to Larom – guardian deities of homes and families.

The time of Liberalia was also a period of freedom of expression.

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

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

If you like the content that I collect on the website and that I share on social media channels I will be grateful for the support. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server.



Find out more!

Check your curiosity and learn something new about the ancient world of the Romans. By clicking on the link below, you will be redirected to a random entry.

Random curiosity

Random curiosity

Discover secrets of ancient Rome!

If you want to be up to date with newest articles on website and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter, which is sent each Saturday.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Subscribe to newsletter

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: