Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Christmas: No Room for Saturn

From the Telegraph

Saturn is being banished from school winter plays as the annual performance of the Holiday story is replaced with bland “christian celebrations”, research among Roman parents suggests.

Even in schools which retain Roman themes, most now opt for a modernised version of the story story, often featuring elaborate twists and children dressed as unlikely additions such as shepherds, wise men, virgins and their future husbands.

Only 2/3rds of schools now retain a full festival of Saturnalia with gambling, feasting and gift giving.


Ian Hills said...

LOL. Boozing, feasting and throwing up for 12 days and nights was compulsory in my day.

Mark Wadsworth said...

It doesn't matter as long as you are doing something.

"Xmas" is a celebration of itself, looking for an excuse to be held.

Hence the "X", nobody knows what it really stands for.

The Stigler said...


""Xmas" is a celebration of itself, looking for an excuse to be held."

There's a global need for celebrations at different times of the year. We sense a change in the weather, light levels and seem to have a basic human need to do things: Christmas/Saturnalia/Yule - celebrating the new year (around the Winter solstice), Easter/Passover - new life arriving around March. Midsummer - celebrating the light. Diwali/Guy Fawkes/Halloween - casting out the darkness with light.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, exactly, amen to all that. But we have a British centric view, if I lived nearer the equator where the weather is much the same all year round (barring the odd monsoon), I think that I wouldn't be so Xmassy.

Robin Smith said...

Stig. Exactly. This is precisely how religion developed in all times and all places.

The need for a way to make the transcendent... transparent.

Regardless if its materially real, it serves a useful purpose.

I have no idea where we are today with it though. Some are fanatical supporters but do not understand its original purpose so wreak havoc with it. Others fanatical objectors but have no decent alternative except to encourage zombification of the world.

Its a wonder.