Saturnalia was the public festival celebrated by the Romans to honor the god Saturn. The festival itself derived from even older rituals performed for the winter solstice, which took place on December 25th in the Julian calendar. What began as a single day of celebration on December 17th slowly extended to a week-long festival that lasted until December 23rd, in anticipation of the solstice. Many Christian traditions such as decorating with wreaths, trees, and gift-giving, came from Saturnalia. Even the decision to date the birth of Jesus to December 25th (he was likely to have actually been born in the spring) allowed for a more seamless way to incorporate pagan and Christian traditions in the early Roman Empire. What better way to celebrate diversity of culture, religion, geography, and the passage of time than to have a Saturnalia Advent!?