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Lupercalia

Lupercalia (lōōpərkāl´yə), ancient Roman festival held annually on Feb. 15. The ceremony of the festival was intended to secure fertility and keep out evil. Two male youths, clad in animal skin, ran around the city slapping passersby with strips of goat skin. Because the youths impersonated male goats (the embodiment of sexuality), the ceremony was believed to be in honor of Faunus. The festival survived into Christian times and was not abolished until the end of the 5th cent.

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Lupercalia

Lupercalia an ancient Roman festival of purification and fertility, held annually on 15 February. Chosen celebrants, wearing the skins of sacrificed animals, ran through the streets, and for a woman to be struck by one of them was to increase her fertility.

The festival was held in honour of Lupercus, the equivalent of the Greek god Pan. It is likely that his name is connected with lupus ‘wolf’, and that he was seen as a protector of flocks from wolves.

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Lupercalia

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