Today, May 13, is the day of the Lemuria, an ancient Roman festival that is probably the origins of All Saint’s Day (November 1) and Halloween (which is a contraction of All Hallows’ Eve).
Lemuria was the day when the head of Roman households would walk about their household, casting black beans over their shoulders, and ordering the restless spirits of the dead to leave their house.
Wheat cakes were also prepared in offering. Hmm, preparing food to offer to appease the spirits…sound familiar?
Lemuria was the reason that for centuries after Rome crumbled, it was still considered unlucky to marry in May.
The Christian Church “de-paganized” the festival around the 4th Century – moving it to November 1 and renaming it All Saint’s Day.
Pass the black beans!
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