Hilaria – Festival to the ‘Great Mother’

Hilaria – Festival to the ‘Great Mother’

The Romans referred to any day or season of rejoicing as Hilaria. Hilaria could be for private rejoicing like the birth of a child, or a marriage, or for public rejoicing. The state holiday of Hilaria or ‘The Day of Joy’ on the 8th day before the Kalends of April – March 25 was in honor of Cybele or Magna Mater (“Great Mother”). The celebration consisted of a solemn procession, where the most costly plates and works of art belonging to the emperors or other wealthy Romans were carried followed by a statue of the goddess Cybele. Various games and amusements were allowed on this day with masquerades being the most prevelant. Everyone could imitate anyone they liked including political officials. The entire festival lasted for several days.

Cybele or Magna Mater ("Great Mother") Protects from Vesuvius

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