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Patti Wigington

Yule Countdown: Io, Saturnalia!

By December 13, 2013

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Get ready for Yule!
The Romans celebrated Saturnalia,
beginning December 17.
Image Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images
No one partied quite like the ancient Romans, so it should come as no surprise that they had a huge way of celebrating around the Winter Solstice. The week-long festival of Saturnalia was known as a time of feasting, merrymaking, and general debauchery. Masters and slaves swapped places, the wine flowed freely, and sacrifices were made in honor of Saturn, the agricultural god, to ensure the fertility of crops and livestock in the coming year. There were also gift exchanges, ornaments on trees, and naked caroling.

Oh yeah. Naked caroling.

Read all about the fun the Romans had during the week of December 17 - 23: Io, Saturnalia!

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December 17, 2011 at 5:41 pm
(1) Eric says:

Interesting… But naked caroling aside, how does Saturnalia connect to Yule?

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