In the third and fourth centuries, the Roman Empire celebrated in honor of Saturn, a religious deity that favored agriculture.
In this holiday week, slaves were put to work, gambling was allowed, continual drunk partying and private gift-giving was all normal during this week.
This week started on December 17th and proceeded until December 23rd, the gift-giving day. Unfortunately, gift-giving wasn’t the only thing that happened during this week. Rape and other explicit acts were committed during this time and was scene as normal and “okay”.
After it’s removal from the calendar, this Roman festival was still held because of it’s success and tradition. Gingerbread men were also started during this time, as human-shaped cookies were considered delicacies.
This festival was also intertwined with the Christian culture in the fourth century to try and mass convert Christians into pagans. Because of the pagan origin of this festival, it was banned in Massachusetts until 1681. Because of this, the Jehovah witnesses do not celebrate the Christmas holiday season.