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Saturnalia Celebration

Come celebrate the putative pagan roots of the Xmas season. We will have a potluck dinner, aWhite Elephant gift exchange (all items should under $10). Kid activities and Karaoke. Enter what food item you will contribute to the potluck in the comments section when you RSVP.[I will try to compile them below as they are entered.]

We will have a brief tribute to Christopher Hitchens.

If you miss entering your food item at first, you may add it by changing your RSVP.

The foods so far

"Main" dishes or equivalent:  BBQ from Lockhart, roast chicken, pirohy, baked potatoes, tortilla soup, turkey medley, chicken korma

Snack-type stuff and side dishes: chips and queso, baby carrots/cauliflower/broccoli, sourdough bread, 1 salad, roasted cauliflower

Dessert-like items: gluten-free chocolate pie, gluten-free cookies, loaves of bread (pumpkin and cranberry walnut), gluten-free ice cream sandwiches, apple pie (with gluten, sorry)

Drinks: ginger ale and diet ginger ale, filtered water, apple cider, cranberry-grape drink

Saturnalia is an Ancient Roman festival/celebration held in honor of Saturn(Cronus), the youngest of the Titans, father of the major gods of the Greeks and Romans, and son of Uranus and Gaia. Most relevantly, Saturn is the father of Rome's primary god, Jupiter.

Saturnalia was introduced around 217 BC to raise citizen morale after a crushing military defeat at the hands of the Carthaginians. Originally celebrated for a day, on December 17, its popularity saw it grow until it became a week-long extravaganza, ending on the 23rd. Efforts to shorten the celebration were unsuccessful. Augustus tried to reduce it to three days, and Caligula to five. These attempts caused uproar and massive revolts among the Roman citizens.[We will stick to just a few hours on one day and hope to avoid riots.]

A number of scholars view this festival as the origin of later Christmas celebrations, or at least as contributing to them. Others point out that the Christian feast of Christmas on December 25 does not coincide with the date range of the Saturnalia, and that Christmas in any regard has not always been celebrated on December 25. The Catholic Encyclopedia states that church's view on the matter by saying that while midwinter pagan feasts such as Saturnalia may have helped influence the eventual choice to fix the date of Christmas, this does not mean that Christian Christmas traditions find their origin or inspiration there: "though the abundance of analogous midwinter festivals may indefinitely have helped the choice of the December date, the same instinct which set Natalis Invicti at the winter solstice will have sufficed, apart from deliberate adaptation or curious calculation, to set the Christian feast there too." [Many prefer to believe whatever they want regardless of what scholars or the Catholic Encyclopedia says.]

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  • A former member
    A former member

    It was great fun; I look forward to more events with you guys!

    December 18, 2011

  • Michelle

    Another great Saturnalia!

    December 18, 2011

  • mary

    We had a great experience at the Saturnalia celebration. My husband came with me, along with our two sons, 16 & 11. Tables were set up festively and the food was delicious! We did Karaoke and a White Elephant exchange. Younger kids were entertaining themselves with activities and everything flowed nicely. The tribute to Christopher Hitchens was a nice touch. Thanks to everyone who organized! We'll be looking forward to next year.

    December 18, 2011

  • Jonathan H.

    Thank you all, Rim and I had a great time!

    December 18, 2011

  • Robert A.

    Bringing vegan pumpkin pie

    December 17, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Also bringing eggnog, rum, chicken wings, chips and salsa.

    December 17, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hope this is the right box... I'll bring tortilla soup, apple cider, roast chicken.

    December 12, 2011

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