Yay!!! It's the winter solstice! The reason I get excited about it is that it means that now the days are going to start getting longer! Even though you can't really tell for awhile, you KNOW that it's happening. That does a world of good for my need for light, growth, the coming of spring... you know, things like that.
There's a website that has a countdown, and I took a screenshot a few seconds ago:
As I was reading a little about it, I came upon some information about how the winter solstice is/was celebrated in different cultures all over the world. These include Yule, The Feast of Juul, Yalda, Santo Tomas (Guatemala), and probably many more. If you're interested in reading about any of these, there's plenty of info out there, including this little article: LINK TO ARTICLE.
I had never heard of Saturnalia from ancient Rome. I like the word Saturnalia and decided to use it in my phrase today to recognize my happiness about the winter solstice. :)
From the article I mentioned above:
The winter solstice festival Saturnalia began on December 17 and lasted for seven days in In Ancient Rome.
These Saturnalian banquets were held from as far back as around 217 BCE to honor Saturn, the father of the gods.
The holiday was celebrated at the Temple of Saturn, in the Roman Forum, and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving, continual partying, and a carnival atmosphere that overturned Roman social norms.
The festival was characterized as a free-for-all when all discipline and orderly behavior was ignored.
Wars were interrupted or postponed, gambling was permitted, slaves were served by their masters and all grudges and quarrels were forgotten.
It was traditional to offer gifts of imitation fruit (a symbol of fertility), dolls (symbolic of the custom of human sacrifice), and candles (reminiscent of the bonfires traditionally associated with pagan solstice celebrations).