Our Lady of Celestial Fire

Festival for Diana

August 13

(Roman) Ancient: Id. Sext. (full moon)
The Ides of August are sacred to many gods, but especially Diana. In addition to being a protector of women and a patron of hunters, since ancient times She has been a protector of slaves. (Her temple on the Aventine was an asylum for runaway slaves, and slaves were allowed to attend Her rites.) Thus this day was a holiday for all slaves, perhaps as a reward for the toil of the harvest. Nowadays we take it as a celebration of tasks completed, during which people of all occupations feast together. Women make a habit of washing their hair on this day.

The Ides of August are sacred to Jupiter (as are the Ides of every month). Also honored on the Ides of August are Vertumnus (an Etruscan patron of trade), Hercules Victor, the Gemini (Castor and Pollux), Hecate, Flora and the Camenae (deities of springs, eventually identified with the Muses).