The War on Saturnalia!

Just a reminder that Christmas is a relative late-comer to the holiday season…

Saturnalia is the Roman agricultural festival that strongly influenced early Christian celebrations we now call Christmas.  Traditionally celebrated between December 17th and the 23rd, Saturnalia was an overturning of traditional Roman norms and customs.

The holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice at theTemple of Saturn in the Roman Forum and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social normsgambling was permitted, and masters provided table service for their slaves.[1] The poet Catullus called it “the best of days.”[2]

In this we can see many traditions which continue to today: gift giving, parties, masters serving slaves (Boxing Day in the UK and Canada).

Combined with Germanic pagan traditions of solstice festivals, the Christians co-opted Saturnalia for their own purposes and called it Christmas.

Frankly, I’m offended by this usurpation of and important Roman festival.

I say, let’s put the Saturn back into Saturnalia. 

6 comments to The War on Saturnalia!

  • If you can agree to not take Thor out of Thursday, then I’m in.


  • Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has called atheists “parasites”on the Christmas holiday. He seems be unaware that Saturnalia preceded the ahistorical birth of Jesus, and that other godmen like Horus and Mithra share the date of Dec. 25th.

    Since this is the the case, whose the real “parasite” on the holiday?


  • Byron Spence

    It is interesting the Christian ideal that Christmas is “only similiar by date, like most holiday around the winter solstice” when it has Gift Giving, Caroling, and Large Banquets to celebrate. also saturn, Lord of Time, looks like an elderly white man with a long white beard and is fat…sound familiar? In conclusion< Christmas is just a spine-off of another religion like most religions.


  • Rick

    Sol Invictus! Mithras!


  • Matt

    people have chosen not to celebrate Saturnalia anymore, butthead. People DO choose to celebrate Christmas. And instead of being a good neighbor and allowing your fellow citizens to enjoy their celebration, you wanna be an asshole and impose your own stupid will on people. I have an idea for you. Move to North Korea where everyone thinks just like you. You’ll love. Separation of Church and State actually IS in their Constitution and you’ll never be offended by any Christmas decorations!


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