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The Lupercalia was a Roman festival held in honor of Faunus, one of whose names was Lupercus, "he who wards off the wolf". The festival was celebrated near the cave or grotta of Lupercal near the Palatine Mount (one of the seven roman hills), to expiate and purify new life in the Spring.

During Lupercalia, a dog and goats were sacrificed. Two youths were anointed with the blood and ran round the city with thongs cut from the sacrificed goats in their hands called Februa. We get our month of February from the Latin februare, "to purify" (meant as one of the effects of fever, that has the same linguistic root).

Girls who were struck by the februa were believed to be granted fertility.

Other Roman festivals and rites include the Ambarvalia and the Saturnalia.

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