Today marks the solemn celebration of the week-long Vestalia festival, a day of thanksgiving.

The Vestal Virgins made mola salsa, bread made from spelt, salt, and water drawn that morning from the sacred spring of Juturna.There was a public procession to the Temple of Vesta, where the mola salsa was offered to Vesta, along with oil and wine.

No official business was conducted in the city during the length of the festival. Bakers and millers had this day off, as did their employees, slaves and the donkeys who turned the mills. The donkeys, believed to be sacred to Vesta, were adorned with garlands and miniature loaves. Likewise, the mills were decorated with garlands of violets and loaves of bread to honor the goddess. The people of Rome ate bread baked in the traditional manner, in the ashes of the hearth at home.


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