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Io Saturnalia!


In order to promote and popularize the cultural heritage of the Аncient Roman period as a part of the “SCUPINI ROMANI”, a brand of “HAEMUS” – Center for Scientific Research and Promotion of Culture dedicated to the  Ancient Roman culture, organize the event inspired by the ancient Roman festival Saturnalia.

Within the event we had several activities:

– Educative part about the Ancient Roman Saturnalia
– Tasting mulsum (Ancient Roman wine with honey and spices)
– Tasting the Ancient Roman food
– Reciting the poetry of the Ancient Roman poets
– Thematic Poetry slam in collaboration with Poetry SLAM Macedonia
– Lecturing by Lidija Kovacheva, PhD. (EuroBalkan, Skopje) on topic: “Possible remains of Roman Saturnalia in Christmas folk customs”
– The projection of the documentary ,,Stobi “in production of the New Moment, Skopje
– Handicraft bazaar inspired by the cultural heritage of the Ancient Roman period
– Lottery prizes with souvenirs from ,,SCUPINI ROMANI”

The poets who came from different Macedonian cities slammed their own and recited ancient Roman poetry during the Saturnalia 2016 (MKC, Skopje, photos by HAEMUS)

The event was of educational and promotional character and the entrance is a free of charge. The event will took place on 17 December between 11-14h at MKC Club and Restaurant in Skopje.

About Saturnalia:

The festival Saturnalia was celebrated in honor of the Saturn, the father of the gods and was characterized by the suspension of discipline and reversal of the usual order. Grudges and quarrels were forgotten while businesses, courts and schools were closed. Wars were interrupted or postponed and slaves were served by their masters. Masquerades often occurred during this time. In the antiquity was held on 17 December by the Julian calendar and later expanded with festivities through to 23 December.io_saturnalia_lidija-kovacheva_lecturing

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). A mock king was chosen, usually from a group of slaves or criminals, and although he was permitted to behave in an unrestrained manner for seven days of the festival, he was usually killed at the end. The Saturnalia eventually degenerated into a week-long spree of debauchery and crime – giving rise to the modern use of the term Saturnalia, meaning a period of unrestrained license and revelry.