The nine days are over, and it is the end of Vestalia. I’ve enjoyed the holiday, although I’m convinced that the full run of days is too much for one person to handle without a sisterhood of Vestal Virgins to call on for support. Next year, I’m likely to just observe the festival day on June 9, or at most that and the first and last days. It has meant something to light a candle to Vesta every day, but that was all I could think of to do most of the time, and it would be too easy for that to become routine.
I started things off with a much cleaner apartment this year (!). A bit of housekeeping wouldn’t be bad preparation for most events, but it’s particularly relevant to Vestalia, which originally involved a ritual cleaning of the Temple of Vesta. I’d love to say it was my great spiritual devotion to Vesta that motivated me to do this cleaning, but it was actually an iPad app for housecleaning. Whatever works.
My apartment is hearth-less, but Vestalia is a holiday for bakers. I was busy with the breadmaker, baking one loaf of barley bread for the festival day, and another yesterday to finish things off tonight. It’s been unusually hot this month; being able to confine the heat of an oven to a relatively small area was wonderful. Between the LED tea light candle, the iPad app, and the breadmaker, this Vestalia was something of a celebration of domestic technology—definitely not part of the traditional festival, but fitting for the modern household. It’s a sobering thought to remember that if I had to clean the entire apartment without any technology—and not just the specialty items like the breadmaker, but the vacuum cleaner, the washer and dryer, and if you want to get really picky, indoor plumbing—I’d have been too worn out and short on time to celebrate anything, and not likely to be in any mood to try. Vesta may be a quiet goddess, but I’m guessing she’s also a hardworking one.