Saturnalia and the pagan origins of Christmas

Friday 14 December 2018,
BP Lecture Theatre
Tickets £5
Members/Concessions £3

Phone +44 (0)20 7323 8181
Ticket Desk in Great Court

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"Io Saturnalia!"Two thousand years ago this was the seasonal greeting which would have chimed out across most of Europe, not "Merry Christmas". The Roman mid-winter festival of misrule has heavily influenced many Christmas traditions – including the time of year we celebrate.

At this festive lecture, Sam Moorhead, British Museum, explores the Roman festival of Saturnalia – tracing its influence on the dating of the Christian festival, and exploring the ‘pagan’ origins of festive traditions, such as gift-giving.

Age: 16+

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