Day of Blood

There were so many Roman festivals in March they had to have a special day just to rest.

They were almost as busy as the Obama administration; but they got to celebrate, instead of having to solve the world’s worst problems.

They celebrated in some weird ways. Like today, the Day of Blood, featuring priests, after fasting for nine days, slashing themselves and sprinkling a statue of Cybele, a fertility goddess, with blood – and then washing it off in a river.

Why does this remind me of our financial crisis? We the little people have been fasting for somewhat longer than nine days. The rich bankers got slashed and bloodied, but now apparently Obama’s rinsing them off.

The Romans were also quite busy celebrating war. The campaign season began in Martius, named for Mars, the god of war; and today there must have been another set of quite tired priests. Dressed in armor, they’d been celebrating his festival for 24 days by leaping in the streets and clashing their shields.

Yes, there are those wars to deal with.

There are some things missing today, though. Like the festival, on the first, of Juno Lucina, goddess of childbirth, when women’s robes and hair were loosened to bring forth fertility; and Anna Perenna’s feast on the Ides, a time of drunkenness and licentiousness. Education, maybe? Healthcare reform?

Let’s just hope the stock market keeps it up, so we don’t have our own day of blood.

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