This was a ceremony to honor the Roman Goddess ~Bona Dea (“Good Goddess”).
She was believed to have protected women.
The rituals took place in secrecy, and males were strictly forbidden.
Dancing, drinking and worshiping sacred objects may have been involved in the rites.
At first, this ceremony only lasted for a day, but later, it was lengthened to a week.
It was begun with sacrifices made to the Roman God Saturn at his temple.
Then young pigs were killed and eaten for dinner the next day and the masters waited on their slaves.
December Festivals by Day
December 1 – Festival of Poseidon
December 3 – Festival of Bona Dea, festival of Ceres
December 5 – Faunalia to Faunus
December 9 – Opalia to Ops
December 11 – Agonium to Janus, Agonalia to Sol Indiges
December 13 – Sementivae to Tellus
December 15 – Consualia to Consus
December 17 – Saturnalia to Saturn begins
December 18 – Saturnalia to Saturn continues
December 19 – Saturnalia to Saturn continues, Opalia to Ops
December 20 – Saturnalia to Saturn continues
December 21 – Saturnalia to Saturn continues, Divalia, festival of Angerona
December 22 – Saturnalia to Saturn continues
December 23 – Last day of Saturnalia to Saturn, Larentia to Acca Larentia, Larentalia to Larenta
December 25 – Opiconsivia to Ops