Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In Roman times the Solstice was celebrated by Saturnalia, a harvest festival honoring the god Saturn who, by all accounts, was a pretty cool dude.
Many of you who know me understand why Saturnalia might appeal to me. Originally, the basic rules of Saturnalia were that the roles of master and slave were reversed, moral restrictions were loosened, and the rules of etiquette ignored. Sounds like a weekend at the Collins house.
According to Wikipedia, “Saturn was a major god presiding over agriculture and the harvest time. His reign was depicted as a golden age of abundance and peace… In medieval times he was known as the Roman god of agriculture, justice and strength.”
Believe it or not, as Saturnalia morphed into a festival celebrating rebirth and the sun (DAMN! Grown-ups ruin all the fun!) Christians appropriated the celebration and most of the aspects of Christmas that we in the West celebrate came from Saturnalia.
Which reminds me; last night I heard a great line from the late business philosopher Jim Rohn that clicks with the concept of rebirth. He said, “You can tear up your life script for the last five years and write a new script.”
Saturnalia was a week-long festival. Why not look at the next week leading up to the new year as a time of rebirth. Tear up your old script and start thinking about a new one.
But, dang, that whole “moral restrictions were loosened, and the rules of etiquette ignored” thing sure sounds like fun, doesn’t it?