the legends and traditions behind Rome’s birthday

Rome’s birthday, on 21 April, is named Natale di Roma. This 12 months the town will have fun its 2,776th birthday.

Historically the Everlasting Metropolis marks its birthday with historic re-enactments of historic Roman rituals, costumed parades and gladiator fights within the Circus Maximus.

What’s Natale di Roma?

The annual Natale di Roma celebration – identified in historic occasions as Dies Romana or Romaia – is predicated on the legendary founding of Rome by Romulus in 753 BC.

Why does Rome have fun its birthday on 21 April?

Whereas there has all the time been some uncertainty over the 12 months, the traditional Romans had been sure of the date Rome was based: 21 April.

This was the day that Romans devoted a pageant to Pales, goddess of flocks and herds, who was celebrated with the standard the Parilia (or Palilia).

Picture credit score: Stefano Carocci Ph /

Relationship again to earlier than the founding of Rome, the Palilia ceremony concerned vestal virgins distributing straw and the ashes and blood of sacrificed animals earlier than leaping over a bonfire thrice.

Basis of Rome

Probably the most generally accepted date given for the inspiration of Rome, 753 BC, comes from the Roman antiquarian Titus Pomponius Atticus, and was adopted by Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro.

On 21 April the Romans additionally held a trench-digging ritual, referred to as the tracciato del solco, which recollects the founding of historic Roman cities when a trench or mundus was dug and choices thrown into it to encourage the gods to observe over the inhabitants.

Die Natalis

One other spectacular occasion that happens in Rome on 21 April is the Dies Natalis phenomenon on the Pantheon.

Annually on this date the noon solar enters the oculus of Rome’s Pantheon and creates a disk of sunshine that centres completely on the doorway doorway.

At that precise time, the emperor would enter the temple, his physique bathed in golden daylight, in response to Italy’s tradition ministry.

Natale di Roma pageantry

The historic re-enactments for Natale di Roma happen within the Circus Maximus, organised by the Gruppo Storico Romano which, for greater than 20 years, has introduced historic Roman historical past to life.

The four-day pageant takes place from 20-23 April 2023, for programme particulars see web site.

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