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The Roman holiday of 'Saturn's Day Saturday' is seen celebrated in the third book, How to Speak Dragonese.

History

Saturn's Day Saturday is celebrated by the Romans of Sinister. Hiccup, Fishlegs, and Camicazi make up the culmination of the entertainment in the Amphitheatre. The major venue was an adapted gladiatorial event titled "Survival of the Fittest" and featured successive creatures being released and then eaten by its predator who was next released. Taking advantage of the excess water from the previous weeks of rain, the amphitheater was flooded and the three Viking children pitted against Sharkworms, a type of sea dragon.

Significance

Though very little discussion was given in Book 3 about Roman beliefs or mythology, Saturn is the God of agriculture, wealth, renewal, and later time. He has many counterparts in other religions, except Germanic and Norse mythology. The Romans concocted the seven day week and assigned Roman gods for each. Germanic peoples (and later the Norse that were derived from them) placed their equivalent deities for each day, all except "Saturn's Day" who had no equivalent. The other days of the week became Sunna's Day, Mani's Day, Tyr's Day, Woden's Day, Thor's Day, and Freya's Day.

The God Saturn did have a specific winter-end celebration in Roman culture called Saturnalia. However, there is no indication that this is the "national holiday" seen in the Book series.

The author also often refers to the events in Book 3 as a "circus", however, circus in Roman culture referred more to a circular or oval-shaped building in which chariot racing, athletics, and sometimes gladiatorial events were held.

Practices

The festivities of Saturn's Day Saturday in the Book series were presumably a one day event occurring once a year or perhaps at some other regular interval. It did not happen every "Saturday", or every seven days.

The stands of the amphitheater began to fill up with spectators, anxious to get a good view. They were mostly soldiers, cooks and carpenters, given the day off for the national holiday. They could buy food and wine within the amphitheater to while away the hours, so, by early afternoon, when the performances began, the atmosphere was very lively, everybody singing songs and even dancing on the seats.
  — Book 3  


All the common folk, soldiers, and other workers had a day off from their labors. There was abundant wine and drinks available to all, as well as abundant food to snack on. In this case one of the food items is "dragons'-toes popcorn". The main venue occurs in the amphitheater for every one to see. The Fat Consul oversees the events and enters with the Ceremonial Shield of the Legion.

References

Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Saturday on Wikipedia
Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Saturn (mythology) on Wikipedia

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