Saturday, 17 December 2011

Happy Saturnalia!

First off, I would like to apologize to my readers (all 6 of you) for not updating my blog recently. Real life activities got in the way (work, directing a play, not having anything interesting to write about). But now I'm back. And with 2 weeks of vacation ahead of me, look forward to regular updates.

So to kick off my return to blogging, I would like to wish all of you a happy Saturnalia! No, not "happy holidays".  I'm so sick of everyone forgetting the true meaning of this season. Please, everyone, put the "Saturn" back in "Saturnalia".

December 17 marks the kick-off to the festivities celebrating Saturn, the god presiding over agriculture and harvest. The celebrations last until December 25. Like Catulus said, Saturnalia truly is the best of times.

Don't forget the following practices as you celebrate Saturnalia this week:

  • bind the feet of your statue of Saturn with wool (usually the feet are bond prior to Saturnalia) and then remove the binding as an act of liberation. This should be officiated by a priest with his head uncovered (according to Greek rite)
  • place the deity's image on a sumptuous couch, so that Saturn can really be a part of the festivities
  • hold a public banquet, followed by the shouting of "io Saturnalia". This is traditionally only done on Dec 17
  • Elect a Saturnalicius princeps to be the master of ceremonies. 
  • The making and giving of small presents is encouraged. Gambling is also allowed, even for slaves. 
  • Slaves are exempt from punishment. In fact, there is often a reversal of social order during this time (including the selecting of the "Lord of Misrule")

So, kick back, don your best toga, and celebrate Saturnalia!

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