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Vinalia

(23-28 April)

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Roman mosaic showing grape harvesting
Vinalia

Vinalia were wine and garden harvest festivals that were held in honour of Jupiter and Venus on April 23-28. On April 23, so-called the first Vinalia (Vinalia prima or Vinalia Priora, also called Miejska Winalia – Vinalia urbana), which were thankful for previous, good harvests and begging for abundant harvest this year. Another day – August 19, the so-called rural Vinalia (Vinalia Rustica), which was celebrated before harvest and squeezing grapes. Venus was the patron of the so-called profaned wine (vinum spurcum) that was consumed every day.

Jupiter, in turn, was a deity patronizing the best, holy wine (temetum). In honour of Venus, the goddess whose powers allowed her to enjoy wine, the Romans consumed the most ordinary wine from the autumn harvest. In turn, in honour of Jupiter, holy wine was drunk, as befits the most honourable patron. During the Vinali, ordinary girls (vulgares puellae) and prostitutes (meretrices) gathered at the Temple of Venus Erycina Colline for decency to offer Venus myrtle, mint and bulrush hidden in a bouquet of roses. In return, women asked for beauty, charm and a sense of humour.

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

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