Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 27

February 27 was Equirria, a horse racing festival in honor of Mars.
The Equirria (Festival of Mars - held on February 27, First Equirria and March 14, Second Equirria) were holy days with religious and military significance at either end of the new year celebrations for Mars. The Roman state placed great emphasis on celebrating the god of war - to support the army, and to boost public morale. Priests performed rites purifying of the army. Celebrants held horse races on the Campius Martius (field of Mars), and drove a scapegoat out of the city of Rome, expelling the old and bringing in the new.

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