The Pagan Rites of the Kalends of January in Gaul

Celtic Mythology

Kalends of January

The Kalends of January was a Roman festival celebrated in Gaul at the beginning of a new year. The Gauls honoured their gods and goddesses with feasting, dancing and processions. The pagan rites of the Kalends of January were popular in the folk religions of the Early Medieval Ages.

The Romans promoted the Kalends of January in Gaul as part of the process of interpretatio Romana in the mid-second century AD. The Kalends of January was a pagan festival that encouraged the Gauls to adopt Roman culture.

The Gauls celebrated the Kalends of January beneath the thin guise of a Roman festival. The pagans observed the Latin feast day on the first of January. They decorated their houses with vegetation and sacrificed animals during rituals to honour the gods and goddesses of the Romano-Celtic religion.

The Romanised Gauls consumed the meat of the slaughtered animals during feasts…

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