-nâl´ye) plural noun
1. Saturnalia. The ancient Roman seven-day festival of Saturn, which began on December 17.
2.(used with a sing. verb). A celebration marked by unrestrained revelry and often licentiousness; an orgy.
[Latin Sâturnâlia, from neuter pl. of Sâturnâlis, Saturnian, from Sâturnus, Saturn.]
The prototypical Roman holiday in which all things were permitted, from December 17th to the 24th. Public banquets were held in which masters served their slaves and criminals were pardoned. A central place of honor to children and the aged was reserved. Gifts were exchanged and social games prevailed. Above all, it was the festival that honored Time and the Golden Age of the Past.
Festival of fools is an ancient Roman carnival which dates back to pre-Babylonian rites and the twelve days of chaos [in-between time], within the void, when all Rome went madů
"The 'World' is 'one'"can be and has been used to justify a totality, a metaphysical ordering of "reality" with a "center" or "apex": one god, one King, etc., etc. This is the monism of orthodoxy, which naturally opposes Dualism and its other source of power ("evil") -- orthodoxy also presupposes that the One occupies a higher ontological position than the Many, that transcendence takes precedence over immanence. What I call radical (or heretical) monism demands unity of one and Many on the level of immanence; hence it is seen by Orthodoxy as a turning-upside-down or saturnalia which proposes that every "one" is equally "divine".
Radical monism is "on the side of"
the Many -which explains why it seems to lie at the heart of pagan polytheism
as well as extreme forms of monotheism such as Ismailism or Ranterism,
based on "inner light"
teachings. "All is one", therefore can be spoken by any kind of monist
or anti-dualist and can mean many different things.
- Peter Lamborn Wilson - _Info Wars_
Saturnalia (from the god Saturn) was the name the Romans gave to their holiday marking the Winter Solstice. Over the years, it expanded to a whole week, the 17th through 23rd of December. It also degenerated from mostly tomfoolery, marked chiefly by having masters and servants switch places, to sometimes debauchery, so that the (lower case) word "saturnalia" came to mean "orgy."
The customary greeting for the occasion is, "Io, Saturnalia!" -- io (pronounced "oy") being a Latin interjection related to "ho" (as in "Ho, there").
Other Roman festivals and rites include the Ambarvalia and the Lupercalia.
It has been postulated that christians in the fourth century assigned December 25th as christ's birthday (and thus christmas) because pagans already observed this day as a holiday. This would sidestep the problem of eliminating an already popular holiday while christianizing the population.