The Romans, Red Rum, and the Glorious Horses of Mars
The often chilly month of March is named after the Roman god of developing energies and warfare, ‘Mars.’
This period was exceptionally important to the primordial peoples, as it was once given as the opening month of the new season. January and February, which were also named after Roman divinities, were originally believed to be rather stagnant months with little significance being allotted to them.
On the 14th day of the month a festivity called the ‘Equiria’ was held. This festival was sacred to Mars and great horse races were run in the Campus Martius. The March Equiria was in fact the second festival of this name, the first having been held on February 27th. The legendary Romulus, (brother of Remus, son of Mars), first instituted these two events.
During the Equiria all kinds of articles relating to the cavalry units were lustrated and spiritually purified. The Horse was one of the animals held most sacrosanct to Mars, the others being the Wolf, Vulture, Magpie and the Dog.