lebiro wrote: A History of Saturalia
By Eadwyn Arkidge
In the High Rock kingdom of Wayrest, few holidays are so beloved as the wintertide festival of Saturalia. Originally a regional festivity, Saturalia's undeniable appeals have broadened its popularity across much of the empire. Traditionally, Saturalia is a time for feasting, drinking, and exchanging gifts - a celebration of warmth in the deep of winter.
Saturalia began its long history as a midwinter festival among the Bjoulsae and sedentary Wayrest Nedics, dedicated to the god Sadhuill. A now-forgotten god of merriment, debauchery, and love, Sadhuill has in modern times been identified with Sanguine and even Dibella. For the ancient Wayrestians, Sadhuill's feast was a time for great indulgence in food, drink, and sex, a tradition that has filtered down to a degree into modern Saturalia traditions.
However, it was not until the early Third Era that the Saturalia we know came into being. When Tiber Septim brought Wayrest and High Rock into his empire, it was his lieutenant, Saturio, who was made interim governor of Wayrest. Aside from many advances in infrastructure and governance, Governor Saturio was noted for his great piety, and considerable effort in spreading the Imperial faith to the heathen Bretons, who then worshipped an ecclectic assortment of elven, nordic, and pagan-Nedic deities, resembling imprecisely the "modern" gods of the Bretons.
In early Third Era Wayrest, Sadhuill was one of these, highly popular during his midwinter festival. Saturio, noting this popularity, hoped to turn the religious dedication to Sadhuill's faith to the Imperial Cult, and was remarkably successful. So dedicated was he in his pursuit and emulation of Sadhuilli practices - distributing gifts to families across the city and drinking barrels of wine in company - Saturio could not but be welcomed into the Wayrestian tradition. But he had not, as some rivqls suggested, "gone native". As his position in the Wayrestians' estimations rose, his gods Dibella, Mara and Arkay seemed more and more to represent the spirit of wintertide merriment to the Bretons.
Within three years, Sadhuill's name had become to vanish from midwinter celebrations, and a great many Wayrestians began to follow Saturio's new cult, and after his death, the memory of Saturio had begun to replace the heathen festival deity.
For his role in bringing Wayrest into the Imperial fold, Saturio was declared a saint of the Imperial Cult, and Saint Saturio's Day a recognised holy day. But the memory of Sadhuilli traditions survives through Saturio's legacy, and Saint Saturio is today a jovial winter spirit, to whom the generous giving of gifts is attributed - good little children who keep the Nine and obey their parents will be given gifts by old Saint Saturio, or "Saturalisman", while their parents enjoy a hearty drink in his honour.
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