Quirinalia and The Feast of Fools
Quirinalia was a first fruits festival that honored Quirinus, the name given by the Romans to the deified Romulus. As a divinity, Quirinus ranked as one of Rome’s most important patrons, along with Mars, Jupiter and Juno.
Early Rome was divided into 30 curiae, each of which had its own day in February for the performing of the Fornacalia, or first-fruits offering to Ceres of toasted emmer-wheat. As the city expanded, the curiae were displaced by the new divisions known as “tibus.” As a result, many people did not know which curiae they belonged to. Because of the confusion they were allowed to make the sacrifice on the Quirinalia, which came to be called “The Feast of Fools.”