mercoledì 14 dicembre 2016
Hello my free men! Next Saturday, Dec.17th marks the beginning of Saturnalia, probably the best-known ancient Roman festivity in honour of agricultural deity Saturn. Actually, the date 17 December was the first date of the astrological sign Capricorn, the house of Saturn, the planet named for the god.
Saturnalia started on Dec.17th and closed on Dec.23rd (in Julian Calendar), the Dies Natali Solis Invicti (the "Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun"), celebrating the Winter Solstice as the Day of Light, according to one interpretation to Macrobius' Saturnalia which looks at this as the exposition of solar monotheism (Sol Invictus). In fact, these celebrations continued during the Roman Empire influencing Christianism and leading to the concept of Christmas and New Year as well as gift-giving at the Sigillaria (wax-figurines/candles event) from Dec.19th on would have paved the way to modern Christmas gift-giving.
Saturnalia were important to ancient Romans because they felt free to overturn socio-political rules: in fact, during this holiday schools were closed, exercise regimens and trials were suspended and no declaration of war could be made. Plus, Saturnalian license also permitted slaves to disrispect their masters without the threat of punishment: free speech was available and Horace called it "December liberty". Slaves were put at the same level of freedmen and women were time by time freer in partecipating to banquets (convivia) and having role-playing by wearing masks or "guising", as in a theatrical event.
According to Neoplatonical philosopher Porphyry, Saturnalia allegorically stand for the festival of dissolution and liberation, implying the "freeing of souls into immortality", an interpretation likely followed by Mithraists as well, since they included many slaves and freedmen.
Against this backdrop, I want to set my next live show as a show of dissolution and liberation of socially-bounded souls @DarKHouse, viale del Lavoro 39/A, S.Martino Buon Albergo, Verona (Italy), next Dec.17th from 11pm: let's welcome god Saturn and wait for the Sol Invictus. :-)
ph. by GDLart