To these must be added the Ambarvalia, the lustration of the fields, a movable feast (and therefore not found in the calendars) addressed at first to Mars in his original agricultural character (see Mars).
AMBARVALIA, an annual festival of the ancient Romans, occurring in May, usually on the 29th, the object of which was to secure the growing crops against harm of all kinds.
681): the Ambarvalia too were celebrated even in Strabo's day (v.
Of Rome, and of the Ambarvalia with the festival celebrated by this brotherhood in May of each year, is now generally accepted..
Such were those of the Ambarvalia, Robigalia, &c., which were essentially rustic festivals, lustrations of the fields, consisting in a procession round the spot to be purified, leading the sacrificial victims with prayers, hymns and ceremonies, in order to protect the young crops from evil influences.
It is generally acknowledged that they are the equivalent of the Christian Church of the Roman lustrations of the crops in spring, the Ambarvalia, &c. The litania major, or great procession on St Mark's day (April 25) is shown to coincide both in date and ritual with the Roman Robigalia, which took place a.d.