Larentalia


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Larentalia

December 23
In ancient Rome, the lares were the beneficient spirits of household and family. Along with the penates (the gods of the storeroom) and the manes (spirits of the dead), they were worshipped privately within the home. Eventually they came to be identified with the spirits of the deceased. Each household had its own lar, to whom a prayer was addressed every morning and for whom special offerings were made at family festivals.
During the Larentalia, observed on December 23, offerings were made to the dead, especially at the shrine of Acca Larentia, the nurse of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. A sacrifice was offered on the spot where Acca Larentia was said to have disappeared.
See also Compitalia; Feralia; Parentalia
SOURCES:
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 604
FestRom-1981, p. 210
NewCentClassHandbk-1962, p. 625
OxYear-1999, p. 508