The Roman festival of Larentalia was held on 23 December but was ordered to be observed twice a year by Augustus; by some supposed to be in honour of the Lares, a kind of domestic genii, or divinities, worshipped in houses, and esteemed the guardians and protectors of families, supposed to reside in chimney-corners.[1] Others have attributed this feast in honour of Acca Larentia, the nurse of Romulus and Remus, and wife of Faustulus.[2]

During this festival, offerings were made to the dead, usually at altars dedicated to Acca Larentia.[3] A sacrifice was typically offered on the spot where Acca Larentia is believed to have vanished.[4] Larentalia was part of a series of ancient Roman festivals and holidays celebrating the end of the old year and the start of the new.[5]


  1. ^ Abraham Rees (1819). The Cyclopædia: Or, Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Literature. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown. pp. 313–.
  2. ^ Wouter W. Belier (1991). Decayed Gods: Origin and Development of Georges Dumézil's "Idéologie Tripartie". BRILL. pp. 91–. ISBN 90-04-09487-3.
  3. ^ Robert E. A. Palmer (2 October 1970). The Archaic Community of the Romans. Cambridge University Press. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-0-521-07702-6.
  4. ^ Henderson, Helene, and Thompson, Sue Ellen, ed. “Larentalia.” Holidays, Festivals and Celebrations of the World Dictionary. Vol. 2. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1997.
  5. ^ Henderson, Helene, ed. "Larentalia." Holidays, Symbols and Customs. Vol. 4. Detroit: Omnigraphics, 2009