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Holidays at Rome, dedicated to the worship of some deity. A distinction was drawn between feriae privatae, or holidays observed by gentes, families, and individuals, and feriae publicae, or public holidays. Public holidays were either fixed or movable, or occasional. The fixed holidays (feriae stativae) were forty-five in number, and were celebrated every year on a definite day and registered accordingly in the calendar. The movable holidays (feriae conceptivae) were also annual, but were held on changing days, and had therefore to be announced beforehand by the consuls, or in their absence by the praetor. The occasional holidays (imperativae) were commanded on special occasions by the authorities with the consent of the pontifices. Such were, for instance, the supplicationes, a solemn service to the gods to celebrate a victory or the like. One of the principal movable festivals was the Feriae Latīnae. This was originally a celebration by the Latin race held on the Alban Mount in honour of Iupiter Latiaris. It was subsequently transformed by Tarquinius Superbus into a festival of the Latin League. Its most notable ceremony consisted in the sacrifice of white bulls, a portion of whose flesh was distributed to each of the cities of the League represented at the sacrifice. If any city did not receive its portion, or if any other point in the ceremonial was omitted, the whole sacrifice had to be repeated. Originally it lasted one day, but afterwards was extended to four. It was then celebrated in part on the Alban Mount by the Roman consuls, in presence of all the magistrates; and in part on the Roman Capitol, a race being included in the performance. It was announced by the consuls immediately after their assumption of office, nor did they leave Rome for their provinces until they had celebrated it. The date therefore depended on that of the assumption of office by the higher magistrates.

The Feriae Sementīvae or Sementīna Dies, were kept at Rome in the time of the sowing of the fields, for the purpose of praying to Tellus and Ceres for a good crop. It was fixed by the pontifices, and lasted for only one day (Varr. L. L. vi. 26).

The Feriae Vindemiāles (Aug.22-Oct. 15) were the vintage festival.

The Feriae Aestīvae or Feriae Messis (June 24-Aug. 1) were the “summer vacation” when fashionable Romans went out of town (Gell. ix. 15).

Feriae Praecidaneae were probably only days of preparation for the regular feriae (Gell. iv. 6).

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