I offer a toast to your good health on today’s Roman Festival. XXX F Martius is the state holiday, The Festival of Salus. The day dedicated to the health, well-being, and prosperity of individual citizens and the Roman State at large.
The worship of the Goddess Salus is likely as old as the veneration of the Goddess Juno. Salus is the daughter of Aesculapius, the God of healing. You might wish to ponder this ancient goddess whenever you hear or use the words, salute, salutation, salutatory, salutatorian, and salvation.
There were many days dedicated to her veneration, but today was the major Festival of Salus. Very little was known about the traditional celebration of the Goddess, but many scholars have written that her veneration was centered on her Quirinal hilltop temple.
The festival was likely, a rather low-key affair not involving rowdiness or much other partying. The altar offerings usually consisted of millet cakes and goat’s milk. Although citizens were not required to attend religious ceremonies, the people were required to suspend business on this date.
It’s rather interesting that at the end of the month named after Mars, the God of War, that The Augurium Salutis rites were performed. This is when the people begged leave of the Gods that the worshippers could pray for peace.
The Blue Jay of Happiness wishes you good health and happiness in the year ahead. Salut!