Did the first Christian Roman emperor appropriate the pagan festival of Saturnalia to celebrate the birth of Christ? Matt Salusbury weighs the evidence.
Got Druids? Ghastly reads on Halloween and the Ancients!
The association between Halloween and ghosts and spirits today comes from the Celtic belief that it was at this time of transition between the old year and the new that the barrier between this world and the Otherworld where the dead and supernatural beings lived became permeable.
Daily life as the Romans knew it ceased for the festival; it was more important to maintain a good relationship with the spirits of the ancestors than it was to continue with the typical types of worship and commonplace legal activities. The one similarity between all these celebrations is that they were all state-sponsored. In this way, the Roman leaders were able to control the citizens
From the beginning of the Roman republic to the end of the empire, a theory of religious toleration never existed to give the people ruled by Rome a choice as to which deities and rituals they wanted to believe in.
Lupercalia is uniquely Roman, but even the Romans of the first century were at a loss to explain exactly which deity or deities were being exalted. It harkens back to the days when Rome was nothing more than a few shepherds living on a hill known as Palantine and was surrounded by wilderness teeming with wolves.
Religion plays a central role in the plot of virtually every fictional narrative, influencing the lives, actions, mentality, practices, beliefs, and eventual fates of the characters (and narrators); the types, interventions, and motives of divinity or other uncanny forces; the use of mythological exemplars.