Strenia is the goddess of prosperity, abundance, pleasure, and new beginnings. Goddess of the New Year, Strenia presided over the gift-giving incorporated into Roman New Year’s festivities. (This tradition of gift-giving was eventually transferred to Christmas.) Strenia is associated with sticks, boughs, and branches. The laurel boughs which are her emblem were known as strenne, but the word eventually came to mean all New Year’s gifts. The sacred twigs carried in procession on the Via Sacra on the first day of January, Janus’ month, were obtained from Strenia’s grove.

Vestiges of rituals associated with Strenia survive in the Italian tradition of giving a New Year’s gift of a calendar and some mistletoe: these gifts are called strenne. In France, New Year’s gifts are called etrennes.


Italy (Sabine)


1 January


Bay laurel boughs


Bay laurel


Decorate with bay laurel and palm branches hung with dates, figs, and gilded fruit. Don’t forget the mistletoe!


Give her nicely wrapped gifts.



Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

Related Articles


Janus : Lord of Beginnings Janus is the two-faced spirit, but in the most positive sense of that term. Janus literally has two faces, indicating…


According to the famous story, Daphne, prophetess of the Oracle at Delphi, was allegedly transformed into the first bay laurel tree when she tried to…


Daphnomancy Daphnomancy, a form of pyromancy, is divination by throwing laurel leaves on a fire. Etymology From Greek pyros, a mythological nymph who was transformed…


Vesta, Lady of the Flame, Guardian of the Hearth, was the preeminent goddess of Rome. Her name may derive from a root word meaning “to…


Saturn Father Time; The Sower ALSO KNOWN AS: Saturnus It was said that Saturn, Roman spirit of agriculture, once reigned over a lost golden age,…