Lupercania (Roman Religious Fesivals)

LUPERCALIA, a festival of ancient Rome, celebrated annually on Feb. 15 in honor of Lupercus, the god of fertility. It is related that the festival was celebrated at the Lupercal, a cave on the Palatine Hill, and that sacrifices of the first fruits of the last harvest were offered. Later the sacrifices consisted of goats, and two youths, known as the Luperci, clothed in goat skins, ran through the streets, striking those they met with thongs made of the skins of the slaughtered animals. These ceremonies were supposed to induce fertility.

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