December 17: Saturnalia, Maple Syrup Day

~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
December 17th

★~ Today’s Quote: Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.— Carl G. Jung

★~ Saturnalia ( Dec 17–23):

Saturnalla is the Ancient Roman festival honoring Saturnus, Two thousand years before Jesus was born, the pagans celebrated a festival called the Saturnalia (feast of Saturn), the god of agriculture. It was a time of merriment at the end of harvesting and wine making. Presents were exchanged, sacrifices offered, and masters served their slaves. Yule logs were added to large bonfires to help warm the earth and bring new crops in the spring. Evergreens believed to be magical were hung in temples and homes.  Hence, “Deck the halls with boughs of holly.”  Have a little extra fun today and honor Christmases pagan roots.

★~ National Maple Syrup Day:

In the early years of maple syrup crafting, 40 gallons of maple sap were boiled over a fire until 1 gallon of syrup was created from its sugars. Maple syrup is a distinctly North American product. Canada, the largest supplier of maple syrup, produced 5.1 million gallons of it in 2010!

Native Americans were the first to harvest and boil the sap of the maple tree into a thick syrup during the 1600s. Tapping a maple tree does not damage the tree and only 10 percent of the sap that is produced in a year is actually collected. Many maple trees have been tapped for 150 years or more.

Maple Syrup Day is easy to celebrate just use it to top pancakes, waggles, or vanilla ice cream. Try to avoid the imitation maple syrup tho and buy the real deal.

★~ Today in History:

♥~ 1843 – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was published in London and immediately sold out. He wrote the story in just two months, beginning in October, 1843 and finishing at the end of November. It was the first of five Christmas books by Dickens. Its successors were The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain (1848).

♥~ 1955 – Carl Perkins wrote Blue Suede Shoes. Less than 48 hours later, he recorded it at the Sun Studios in Memphis. The tune became one of the first records to be popular simultaneously on rock, country and rhythm & blues charts.

♥~ 1979 – Former Hollywood stuntman Stan Barrett became the first person to break the sound barrier on land. He reached a top speed of 739.666 miles per hour in a 60,000 horsepower rocket vehicle at Rogers Dry Lake, CA.

♥~ 1989 – The first episode of The Simpsons aired, Created by Matt Groening, it’s the longest-running animated series in television history. The premiere episode was a Christmas special. Groening has described the characters as “creatures of consumption and envy, laziness and opportunity, stubbornness and redemption. Just like the rest of us. Only exaggerated.”

♥~ 2009 – Is nothing scared. – A St Matthews church billboard showing an apparently naked Virgin Mary and Joseph in bed together was erected in New Zealand. The poster quickly sparked the ire of conservative Christians. The church’s vicar, Archdeacon Glynn Cardy, said the billboard was meant to challenge stereotypes about the way Jesus was conceived.

★~ Born Today:

♥~ 1760 – Deborah Sampson. Born at Plympton, MA, Deborah Sampson spent her childhood as an indentured servant. In 1782, wishing to participate in the Revolutionary War, she disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the Continental Army’s Fourth Massachusetts Regiment under the name Robert Shurtleff. Her identity was unmasked, and she was dismissed from the army in 1783. In 1802 Sampson became perhaps the first woman to lecture professionally in the US when she began giving public speeches on her experiences. Deborah Sampson died Apr 29, 1827, at Sharon, MA. Full military pension was provided for her heirs by an act of Congress in 1838.

♥~ 1949 –  Paul Rodgers, Rock singer (Bad Company)

♥~ 1956 – Peter Farrelly, Director, producer

♥~ 1958 – Mike Mills, Rock musician (R.E.M.)

★~ Did You Know: 

♥~ MISTLETOE: It’s an ancient Druid fertility symbol, and people used it to do a lot more than kiss under it. *wink*

♥~ CHRISTMAS TREES: Evergreen trees were a potent symbol of life in the dark winter days. Decorating them was a way of making offerings to the tree’s spirit. Thank the Norse tradition for this.

♥~ PRESENTS: From the Roman feast of Saturnalia, integrated into Xmas in 375 AD when the church first set Christ’s birthday as December 25th.

♥~ YULE LOGS: A Scandinavian tradition, where an oak log was kept burning for 12 days, and a piece of it saved to light the next year’s log. “Yule” is named after Ullr, the Norse god of winter.

♥~ Christmas Nog:  The Greeks toasted and then toasted again and again the death and rebirth of Dionysus, the god of wine and wild revelry, for 12 days at the winter solstice.

♥~ Xmas:  There is a common misconception  that the word Xmas is a secular attempt to remove the religious tradition from Christmas by taking the “Christ” out of “Christmas.” When in fact,  Xmas goes way back in religious writing, where the X represents a Greek chi, the first letter of “Christ.”


Consider the possibility that Christmas in it’s truest form might be about celebrating our own birth; or own coming into being. What gifts would the three wise men bring you for the upcoming New Year?

Wishing you a Saturnalia Saturday filled with good cheer.

6 thoughts on “December 17: Saturnalia, Maple Syrup Day

  1. Interesting, isn’t it, how our Christian traditions evolved from pagan rituals? I remember learning about Saturnalia when I was taking Latin (!) in high school. Domer tells me nobody takes Latin any more — more’s the pity, for it certainly helped with vocabulary!

    • It is interesting how the Christens took Pagen holidays and reworked them to fit their means–not all bad just in general it has gone unrecognized.
      I have heard from those bright enough to stick it out that Latin can be an extremely useful language base.

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