Saturday, December 24, 2016

Io, Saturnalia!

Before December 25 was Christmas, it was the end of the Roman festival of Saturnalia. The Romans celebrated from the 17th to the 23th, and later to the 25th, which was Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, "The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun God."

Saturnalia celebrated the Golden Age of Man under the rule of the god Saturn, who taught them the arts of agriculture and ushered in a golden age of peace and prosperity. On Saturnalia gambling was
permitted, work and school were forbidden, drunkenness and overeating were excused, and slaves ruled in place of their masters. On the 19th of January was the Sigillaria, during which friends and family exchanged small gifts and tokens.

Unlike many Roman festivals, Saturnalia was celebrated throughout the Empire, not just in the city of Rome itself.

Sol Invictus.
Santa Claus.

Io, Saturnalia!

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