Dies sanguinis

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Dies Sanguinis (Day of Blood) was a festival held in Ancient Rome on the 24th March, called Bellona's Day, when the Roman votaries of the war-goddess Bellona cut themselves and drank the sacrificial blood to propitiate the deity.

The priests of the goddess Cybele (the galli) flogged themselves until they bled and sprinkled their blood upon the image and the altars in the sanctuary, while others are said to have imitated Attis by castrating themselves. Such painful and dramatic acts allowed the worshipers to identify with the pain and death of Attis, to whom were dedicated a cycle of festivities, which were celebrated from 15th to 28th March.

These festivities celebrated the death of the god. Among these, there were the "Sanguem" and the "Hilaria". The Hilaria on March 25th brought renewed joy and hope. There was feasting in honor of the Great Mother and good cheer.

The spring festival came to a close with a much-needed day of rest (March 26) and a final day (March 27) on which the holy image of the Great Mother was bathed in the Almo River.[1]


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