Latin students celebrate Saturnalia with poster contests


Becky Han

Seniors taking Latin painted a poster featuring rapper Kanye West in order to incorporate the theme of famous rappers for the Saturnalia poster contest.

Gaby Chu , Staff Writer

Schreiber’s annual Saturnalia celebration took place on Dec. 7.  Hosted by the Latin Club, the event celebrated the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, a holiday dedicated to Saturn, the Roman god of wealth, agriculture, and time.  Traditionally, Saturnalia was 7-day festival which took place during December.  It was a time for feasting, generosity, the exchange of gifts, and the decoration of trees. In Roman culture, people greeted each other by exclaiming “io Saturnalia!” and the festival was filled with drinking and merrymaking.  During these seven days, even slaves were encouraged to enjoy the festivities along with their masters, and people enjoyed gambling, an activity that was normally outlawed. This event—minus the gambling and drunken revelry—has now become an annual tradition for Latin students at Schreiber, and it is filled with a variety of entertaining activities.

“Saturnalia was really fun this year,” said senior Cameron Helman.  “The most entertaining part was watching people compete against each other during the games.”

Clad in homemade togas fashioned from bedsheets, students showed up to the cafeteria at 7p.m.. Saturnalia provides an opportunity for Latin students to meet people from other grades and spend time with their friends.

“Saturnalia is always such an exciting way for Latin students to celebrate the fascinating culture and mythology we learn about in class,” said junior Melissa Pittard.

The grades competed in activities that were related to the ancient Saturnalia festival, such as a wheelbarrow race that was meant to resemble ancient chariot racing, musical chairs, and a limbo competition.

“It was really enjoyable. If you take Latin, I highly suggest that you go next year,” said junior Joe Clark.

In addition, there was a toga catwalk, where students had a chance to model in their homemade togas.  The seniors, who devised an especially elaborate routine, took the win in the catwalk.  Each student had a chance to participate in the activities or just watch their classmates.  For many students, the games were the most enjoyable part of the night.

“My favorite part of Saturnalia was watching the chariot races,” said junior Emily Doherty.  “It was so funny watching everyone compete against each other while getting really into the games.”

Every year, Saturnalia takes on a different theme. Last year’s theme was Disney villains, and this year the theme was famous rappers.  Each Latin class chose a certain rapper and in the days leading up to the event, they created a poster in class to represent themselves and their designated rapper.  The freshmen selected Chance the Rapper as their mascot, the sophomores chose Dr. Dre, the juniors chose Lil Yachty, and the seniors chose Kanye West.

The posters themselves were involved in a competition as the best one was selected.  The poster competition was judged by Latin teacher Ms. Griffin, as well as assistant principals Mr. David Miller and Ms. Julie Torres.  In the end, the seniors’ poster was voted as the winner.

“I loved seeing all the Latin kids uniting for this event,” said junior Audri Wong.  “The posters were so creative and working on them during class really brought everyone together.”

Students also enjoyed pizza, sandwiches, and salad, as they do every year.

“As a senior, this was my last time being able to go Saturnalia.  Even though I was only able to be there for part of the night, it was as fun as always,” said senior Becca Rosen.