Museum Workshop

Saturnalia: A Roman Christmas?

Take a trip back in time and visit a Roman preparing for the midwinter festival of Saturnalia. Learn about the customs of the Roman festival while sharing modern midwinter traditions. Wealthy Romans are famous for their parties! Discover the weird and wonderful food they ate such as peacocks' brains to stuffed dormice. Find out about the lives of the slaves behind the rich Roman lifestyles. 


A history of Saturnalia. Video created by Somerton Primary school telling the story of Saturnalia, the Roman mid-winter festival.


Duration: 45 minutes
Dates: 4 Dec - 22 Dec
Cost: Led by Museum staff - £40 for up to 15 pupils, £60 for up to 35. Free for some schools (see booking information).


Humanities: Events and human experiences are complex, and are perceived, interpreted and represented in different ways.

Age: 8-11

Learning objectives: 

  • Discover a Roman feast from the perspective of a Roman party guest and a Roman slave.
  • Review the ways these events and experiences are perceived, interpreted and represented.
  • Consider the daily life and equality for different people in Roman times and today.
  • Reflect on what we can learn from Roman times to improve society today.

Saturnalia workshop

National Roman Legion Museum

Booking information

To make a booking and talk to someone about this session phone (029) 2057 3546 or email