Februa (or Februatio) was the Roman festival of purification that was commonly referred to and associated with the celebration of Lupercalia. The month of February honors that festival.

Traditionally, it was performed on the 15th day of the month and used for deep personal and household purification – cleanse your sacred space, and self.

The festival lingered on in modern custom as “spring cleaning” and is also associated with the cleansing spring rains.

According to Ovid, Februare as a Latin word for purification from washing or water comes from an earlier Etruscan word referring to purging .

The Roman month was called Februarius (“of Februa”). A later Roman god Februus personified both the month and also purification, and is named for them.

Lupercalia was a much older, pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through February 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility.

In Roman mythology, Lupercus is the god of shepherds, sometimes identified with the Roman god Faunus, who is the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Pan.

Lupercalia was also celebrated in Rome to worship the she-wolf who suckled Romulus & Remus the founders of the city of Rome.

It sounds like it was quite a party and not very connected to purification.

It started with a group of specially appointed priests gathering at the Lupercal, a cave at the bottom of the Papatine Hill in Rome. The priests would offer a goat in sacrifice, and anoint the Lupercii (young male participants) on their foreheads with the blood. The blood was wiped away with milk by other priests. The men skinned the sacrificed goat and ripped the hide into strips which they tied around their naked waists. They then got drunk, and ran around the streets of Rome striking everyone they met with goatskin thongs. Young women who were touched in this manner were thought to be specially blessed, especially in regards to fertility and procreation.

I suggest you wait till the 15th and start your own personal and household purification. Don’t go sacrificing any goats.

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