Yesterday marked the beginning of the ancient Roman holiday of Saturnalia.
Today marks the beginning of Saturnalia, an ancient Roman holiday dedicated to the pagan god Saturn. Ever heard of it? No? You might actually be celebrating some part of it and not even know it. Hold that thought.
On December 17, the Romans would go to the temples and unbind the feet of their statues of Saturn (Normally they were adorned with felt shoes) and even move their idols to tables for banquets in honor of the god. Government shut down to some degree. It was forbidden to declare war or sentence criminals during Saturnalia.
In the public, the normally rigid Roman class structure was thrown out of the window. Everyone let down their hair a little bit and spoke their minds – even Roman slaves! During Saturnalia, slaves were allowed to criticize their masters without rebuke. Some scholars say that masters and slaves dined together.