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Origin of Christmas: Saturnalia 17-24 of December

Rome, Italy

Rome is getting ready for the Christmas period - one of the most popular celebrations in the world. What was before the time that Christmas came into the Roman culture? It was a pagan festival dedicated to god Saturn. One of the best-known festivals of ancient Rome was called the Saturnalia - a winter festival celebrated between 17th and 24th of December. Read and you will find out what it was all about.

Roman pagans first introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness. It means that during this period, all the ancient legal roman system was out of order. The courts were closed, and Roman law dictated that no one could be punished for damaging any property or injuring people during the celebration. It was believed that when the weekly period ends, the whole world is awaken for the new better era without murders and violence.

It is believed that Christians in the fourth century assigned the 25th of December as Jesus birthday (and thus Christmas) because pagans already considered to be this day a celebration of the end of darkness. The old and refurbished buildings of Rome are breathing the spirit of ancient life. Rome has always been a city where new and old come together in surprising ways. Discover the place where Christmas was born.

For some it might be a surprise that the Christmas has a long and not so bright history. However, the history is a way to respect the diversity. This Christmas, how and where will you celebrate? Choose the city that inspires!

City: Rome
Country: Italy
By: M&J Place Hostel Rome
Published on 01-Dec-2009
Section City Live
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