What is the Isia? “Samhain” for Isis devotees?

…on the Isia, or what’s more commonly known these days as a period of time in Ancient Rome called the Festival of Isis…


Today’s post is brought to you thanks to my Facebook friend, Christopher, who asked me about an Isis festival called The Isia. He remembered that it was held in late October, early November, but couldn’t find anything about the details.

The dates tickled my brain pretty severely, but I couldn’t drag up any data on it from the depths of my memory pool either. Thank Goddess for libraries, my personal Isis library, and the internet.

Turns out the Isia is an Isis festival recorded in a calendar from 354 CE commissioned by a wealthy Roman Christian named Valentinus from a prominent, also-Christian scribe named Philocalus. The Calendar of Philocalus is famous because it contains the first known reference to the Christian festival of Christmas.

But for Isiacs, it is important for its inclusion of a different festival: the Isia. Philocalus records the dates of the Isia as October 28-November 1…

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