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Io Saturnalia: Merry Christmas the Roman Way

Discover this mid-winter week-long festival of the Saturnalia, a party in which the ‘serious was barred’. Saturnalia honoured the god Saturn and remembered his Golden Age on Earth when no one had to work. So parties, good food, silly games such as Forfeits, singing and gambling – even for slaves - were the order of the week. Accredited Lecturer Gillian Howell highlights how holly wreaths, presents, candles, even cheap party hats at the main meal all originate from this pre-Christmas Christmastime festival! You’ll have plenty to fascinating and fun facts chat about over the Christmas dinner!


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A great presentation, so informative and with humour which is so important any time but especially at present. I shall think of the Romans when I am supping my next glass of wine. Happy Christmas everybody!

Sheila Mason Tue, 14/12/2021 - 15:06 Permalink

What a jolly presentation! Thank you very much Gillian!

Francesca Bratley Tue, 14/12/2021 - 14:56 Permalink

Agree with previous comments but I would have liked to have seen more of the painting.

Jenny Gates Tue, 14/12/2021 - 14:02 Permalink

What a great, interesting, enthusiastic speaker you are, Gillian. Thank you very much indeed!

BIlly Dawson Tue, 14/12/2021 - 13:52 Permalink

I loved opening this window of my calendar. What a jolly, informative, fun surprise! Thank you.

Suzanne Burdon Tue, 14/12/2021 - 13:48 Permalink

Indeed, a great way to understand the Golden Age and how the Romans had countless social gatherings, something we are missing right now.

Muriel Lowe Tue, 14/12/2021 - 13:30 Permalink

Just the thing for a grey December day!

Sara Tue, 14/12/2021 - 12:38 Permalink

Yippee for speakers like Gillian - enthusiastic, informative, interesting and obviously enjoying herself!

Jillie Moss Tue, 14/12/2021 - 11:55 Permalink

What a joy to listen to. Thank you Gillian.

Christian Tue, 14/12/2021 - 11:48 Permalink

Learned a lot in just a short space of time and loved the jolly style of presenting !

Kat Edwards Tue, 14/12/2021 - 11:36 Permalink