Rain & Shine: Saturnalia
This week there was a grand conjunction between the planets Saturn and Jupiter on the winter solstice. The ancient festival of Saturnalia was traditionally celebrated this time of year. Considered the most popular, jolly and raucous of the Roman Holidays, it serves as the basis for our modern celebration of Christmas.
Jupiter, known as Zeus to the Greeks, is the biggest planet in our neck of the galaxy. It is a massive bulk of swirling gases 1,120% the size of Earth. Saturn is just behind Jupiter in size coming in at 945% the size of Earth. The Roman God of agriculture, peace and the grandfather of time- Saturn is known in Greek as Cronos. This year, the planetary conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter falls during the traditional time of the festival of Saturn, Saturnalia. During this time courts, commerce and labor came to a halt, people decorated their homes and public places with wreaths and other greenery, and dressed in festive, bright colors. Joyful feasts were held, and gifts were given to each other and to the gods to celebrate the bounty that had been brought about by the agricultural deity.
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