What was my favorite event of Rome’s day-long birthday party? At 6pm, in the Circus Maximus, the Roman historical acting group, Gruppo Storico Romano, re-enacted the Parilia, the ancient Roman agricultural festival that was celebrated every April 21st (Did ancient Romans have an April 21st? Yes, our current calendar originates from the calendar of Julius Caesar). In ancient Rome, this festival honored Pales, god of shepherds and flocks, with sacrifices of bread, milk, and wheat, and in order to purify themselves, shepherds would jump over a fire three times.
I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the actors gathered together, in ancient Roman garb, performing the re-enactment: Hello Nerds of Rome! Here are my people (/ where have you been all my life?!)! Vestal Virgins dressed in white, burning incense, Roman soldiers in plumed helmets, shepherds and shepherdesses, dancing, tambourines, laying of wheat, bread, and milk on altars, mystical background music: a wonderful start to spring in my book.
Check out the dude (photo above) in mid-purification ritual leap 😉 Love it!