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|Official name||Consuales Ludi|
|Observed by||Roman Republic,
|Observances||Horses, Mules and Asses were adorned with garlands|
|Date||21 August, 15 December|
The Consuales Ludi or Consualia was the name of two ancient Roman festivals in honor of Consus, a tutelary deity of the harvest and stored grain. Consuales Ludi were held on August 21, at the time of harvest, and again on December 15, in connection with grain storage. The harvest grains were stored in underground vaults, and the temple of Consus was also underground. This shrine was covered with earth all year and was only uncovered for this one day. Mars, as a protector of the harvest, was also honored on this day, as were the Lares, the household gods that individual families held sacred.
During the celebration horses, mules, and asses were exempted from all labour, and were led through the streets adorned with garlands and flowers. Chariot races were held this day in the Circus Maximus, which included an odd race in which chariots were pulled by mules.
In Roman mythology, the Consulia was founded by Romulus as an occasion to gather his Sabine neighbors. When the community was assembled and in a state of drunken festivity, Romulus's men abducted the daughters of the Sabines to become their brides (see "The Rape of the Sabine Women").
- Ab Urbe Condita, I, 9.
- H. H. Scullard, Festivals and Ceremonies of the Roman Republic (London: Thames and Hudson, 1981), 177-8, 181, 205, 207.
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