|Saturn eating his offspring.|
To celebrate Romans would untie the ropes on the statue of Saturn that usually bound him the rest of the year. The traditional greeting for the holiday was 'Io, Saturnalia!" (pronounced ee-oh), which means "Ho, Glory to Saturn!" They would wear a garb called a synthesis, which was informal wear and very colorful, and the pileus, or freedman's hat, because Saturnalia was a relaxed holiday. The colors they would wear were golds and greens. They would decorate live trees (they didn't cut them down and bring them indoors) with garlands and gold decorations of moons, stars, and suns. It was also a time where the social order was reversed. Slaves would often be forgiven instead of punished, and sometimes they would be given a feast by their masters. Though this sounds nice, it wasn't quite as it sounds. Often the slaves would prepare the meal and their master's, be served by their master, then have to clean up. It was very controlled role reversal. It was also a week where everyone drank heavily and exchanged small gifts, such as candles, clay figurines, and poems.
|This is the pileus.|
Also, I wan to include this somewhat related video showing how effective the War On Christmas has been.