Ceres, often identified with the Greek goddess Demeter, was the Roman
goddess of grain. She was worshipped with Liber and Libera (perhaps a
Romanization of the triad of the Eleusinian Mysteries) in a temple on the Aventine Hill.
The temple contained copies of the senatus consulta and was a center for
distribution of food to the poor.
Ceres had her own flamen and was honored on several festivals and feast days.
The Sementivae, celebrated late in January, took place primarily in the country.
During this festival grain and a pregnant sow were sacrificed, and farmers
retired their plows and teams of oxen as the earth rested for the winter season.
Games, predominantly theatrical productions, occupied the first seven days
of the Cerialia, celebrated from April 12-19. In the country, Ceres received
offerings of honeyed wine and milk. During the Ambarvalia, held late in May,
farmers walked three times in a procession around their farms, offered
animal sacrifices, and then celebrated with dancing, singing, and drinking.
Image of Ceres