Matronalia (also called Matronales Feriae) was a Roman festival celebrated by married women (matrons). It is celebrated on March 1st.
During Matronalia, the women went to the grove at the temple of Junona on Esquiline. They sacrificed flowers to the goddess of birth, motherhood and women Junon Lucina and prayed for happiness in their married life, while at home they offered food for their slaves. On that day, the men presented their wives with gifts, and the women prepared a feast for the slaves who were relieved of their duties that day.
Matronalia was the prototype of women’s day. According to tradition, it was believed that the holiday was instituted by Romulus himself.
Jaczynowska Maria, Religie świata rzymskiego, Warszawa 1987
Mała encyklopedia kultury antycznej, Warszawa 1983
Zieliński Tadeusz, Religia Rzeczypospolitej Rzymskiej
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