There were two festivals of this name
celebrated by the Romans: the Vinalia urbana
and the Vinalia
urbana were celebrated on the 23rd of April. This festival answered to the
as on this occasion the
wine casks which had been filled the preceding autumn were opened for the
first time, and the wine tasted (Plin. Nat.
). But before men actually tasted the new wine, a libatiou
was offered to Jupiter (Fest. Ep.
p. 374, 12), which was
(Id. p. 65, 13).
The rustic vinalia, which fell on the 19th of August (Plin. Nat. 18.289
; Varro, L.
6.20) and was celebrated by the inhabitants of all Latium, was
the day on which the vintage was opened. On this occasion the flamen dialis
offered lambs to Jupiter, and while the flesh of the victims lay on the
altar he broke with his own hands a bunch of grapes from a vine, and by this
act he, as it were, opened the vintage (vindemiam
Varro, L. L.
6.16), and no must was
allowed to be conveyed into the city until this solemnity was performed.
This day also was sacred to Jupiter only originally (Fest. p. 265, 28), but
afterwards to Venus also, being the day of dedication for her temples
in Murcia valle
(Fest. p. 265, 31). The question what Venus had
to do with the In Vinalia is raised by Ovid (Ov.
), but not answered. We may be content with Varro's
account, that Venus took gardens under her protection (R. R.
1.1, 6; L. L.
6.20; cf. Fest. Ep.
p. 58, 14;
iii. pp. 333, 374).