Ceres (mythology)
In ancient Roman religion, Ceres (ˈ) was a goddess
A goddess is a female deity. In some cultures goddesses are associated with Earth, motherhood, love, and the household. In other cultures, goddesses also rule over war, death, and destruction as well as healing....

 of agriculture
Roman agriculture
Agriculture in ancient Rome was not only a necessity, but was idealized among the social elite as a way of life. Cicero considered farming the best of all Roman occupations...

, grain crops
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

, fertility and motherly relationships. She was originally the central deity in Rome's so-called plebeian
The plebs was the general body of free land-owning Roman citizens in Ancient Rome. They were distinct from the higher order of the patricians. A member of the plebs was known as a plebeian...

 or Aventine Triad
Aventine Triad
The Aventine Triad is a modern term for the joint cult of the Roman deities Ceres, Liber and Libera. The cult was established ca. 493 BC within a sacred district on or near the Aventine Hill, traditionally associated with the Roman plebs...

, then was paired with her daughter Proserpina
Proserpina or Proserpine is an ancient Roman goddess whose story is the basis of a myth of Springtime. Her Greek goddess' equivalent is Persephone. The probable origin of her name comes from the Latin, "proserpere" or "to emerge," in respect to the growing of grain...

 in what Romans described as "the Greek rites of Ceres". Her seven-day April festival of Cerealia
In ancient Roman religion, the Cerealia was the major festival celebrated for the grain goddess Ceres. It was held for seven days from mid- to late April, but the dates are uncertain....

 included the popular Ludi
Ludi were public games held for the benefit and entertainment of the Roman people . Ludi were held in conjunction with, or sometimes as the major feature of, Roman religious festivals, and were also presented as part of the cult of state.The earliest ludi were horse races in the circus...

(Ceres' games). She was also honoured in the May lustratio
Lustratio was an ancient Roman and ancient Greek purification ceremony, involving a procession and in some circumstances the sacrifice of a pig , a ram and a bull ....

n of fields at the Ambarvalia
Ambarvalia was a Roman agricultural fertility riteheld at the end of May in honor of Ceres.At these festivals they sacrificed a bull, a sow, and a sheep, which, before the sacrifice, were led in procession thrice around the fields; whence the feast is supposed to have taken its name, ambio, I go...

 festival, at harvest-time, and during Roman marriages and funeral rites
Roman funerals and burial
Ancient Roman funerary practices were part of the mos maiorum, "tradition," that is, "the way of the ancestors," and drew on the beliefs embodied in Roman public and domestic religion....


Ceres is the only one of Rome's many agricultural deities to be listed among the Di Consentes, Rome's equivalent to the Twelve Olympians
Twelve Olympians
The Twelve Olympians, also known as the Dodekatheon , in Greek mythology, were the principal deities of the Greek pantheon, residing atop Mount Olympus. Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, and Hades were siblings. Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Athena, Apollo, and Artemis were children of Zeus...

 of Greek mythology.