February Festival: Charistia

God of Wealth
God of the Dead
Ruler of the Underworld
Chief Judge of the Underworld

Pluto was the Roman Lord of the Underworld and the Chief Judge of the Dead. Pluto is the Roman form of Hades. As Pluto, he becomes more disciplined, militaristic, and warlike. While the Greeks feared him as the Lord of the Underworld, the Romans respected him as the God of Wealth.
The Dis Pater was only a translation of Plouton (Pluto) is Giver of Wealth or Rich Father. The name was understood as referring to "the boundless riches of the earth, both the crops on its surface (seeds of the crops)—he was originally a god of the land—and the mines hidden within it. As the God of Wealth; he is the giver of gold, silver, and other subterranean substances. Because these "gifts" were mined, Pluto became recognized as the God of the physical and spiritual underworld and thus death.
He is usually represented in an ebony chariot, drawn by his four black horses, Orphnaeus, Aethon, Nycteus, and Alastor. As God of the Dead, keys were the ensigns of his authority, because there is no possibility of returning when the gates of his realm are locked. Sometimes he holds a scepter, to symbolize his power with which he directs the movements of his subject ghosts. His helmet has the power to render the wearer complete invisible and sends wave of fear and panic to their opponents. Perseus used a replica of this helmet when he cut off Medusa's head.
His divine responsibility is large and grows daily: the management of the Underworld, an underground kingdom wherein lived the spirits of those who had died, those who sleep and dream, and others who, for whatever reason, had been banished from the earth.
Although Pluto stay in the Underworld most of the time, he does visit the land of living for a change scene and love affair or two. On visit he encounter the beautiful Persephone. He went to Lord Zeus for her hand in marriage because Lord Zeus is Persephone's father. Zeus, staying neutral as possible, did not agree for the marriage nor he disagree with the idea of the marriage between Hades and Persephone. Hades forget to tell Lady Demeter, Goddess of Agriculture, his sister and Persephone's overbearing mother, about the marriage. Persephone gather flowers on a plain in Sicily. Hades made her his queen and the consequence of the their marriage result in the change seasons.
Pluto was extremely revered both by the Greeks and Romans. He had a magnificent temple at Pylos. Near the river Corellus, in Boeotia, he had also an altar, for some mystical reason, in common with Pallas. Festivals of the Winter were associated with the festivals regarding the dead and the underworld when Pluto was particularly worshiped  His chief festival was in February, and called Charistia, because their oblations were made for the dead. Black bulls were offered up, and the ceremonies were performed in the night, it not being lawful to sacrifice to him in the day time. The cypress tree was sacred to Pluto, boughs of which were carried at funerals.






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