Classics department to hold seventh annual Saturnalia celebration

Photo Credit: Zoe Archambault

Photo Credit: Zoe Archambault

The staff in the Classics department will be serving democracy-themed activities to celebrate the end of term at the seventh annual Saturnalia celebration complete with games, prizes and festive holiday outfits.

The event will be held December 3, 2019, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. inside the International Centre (GLB 104).

“The main idea behind it is to have an end of semester celebration and to have the students, undergraduate and graduate, in a really relaxed atmosphere with us … we want to encourage students to know us and be able to come to office hours. We give back with the celebration,” said Dr. Carrie Murray, associate professor in the department of classics.

This event plays on the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, held in December, in which slaves and masters switched positions. Slaves were able to step outside their every day duties and have some fun.

This event is made to be a fun time for students to interact with their professor with games like the infamous loo roll (toilet paper) toga contest and activities around the theme of democracy, like a scavenger hunt.

“A new goal is to present the relevance of classics to contemporary issue a little more. This year’s theme is democracy and the games are going to relate to democracy,” said Murray.

Following the Saturnalia theme and to teach students about ancient voting practices, the vote for the ugliest Christmas sweater and best Classics meme will be done with ostraka. In ancient times, voters would write their vote on a pottery sherd. Similarly, voters at the celebration will be able to have the same experience.

Students will also receive a favour in keeping with the Roman tradition of Saturnalia. During past events, students received favours of a hedgehog cookie, to complement the archeological find of a rattle shaped like a hedgehog and a tote bag with the cypriate museum logo. This year’s favour will no doubt be just as special.

Special prizes are being collected for the event including a special copy of the translated book Quomodo Invidiosulus Nominee Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) in Latin, donated by Bolchazy Carducci Publications.

Saturnalia is not only about celebrating the end of first term but to also show the students appreciation for all they do.

“We want to encourage students to explore classics and to thank the students who volunteer throughout the year: the peer mentors, they help with recruitment events, the university open house, the international fairs and all sorts of other events and the AIA. The students volunteer a lot of their time and we appreciate it,” said Murray.

The faculty encourages students to bring a friend to the event. Join them as they celebrate students, the end of the term, the holidays and democracy with fun, food and games. For more information on this event go to ExperienceBU.

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