Saturnalia, the festival of Saturn, celebrated originally by the rural population of ancient Italy in December, as a sort of harvest home, and in later ages converted into a season of almost absolute relaxation and merrymaking. Its origin was ascribed to Janus, Hercules, and others. Tullus Hostilius is said to have revived games of the Saturnalia and Opalia at Rome, in honor of Saturn and Ops, to commemorate a victory over the Sabines. During the republic a single day in the middle of December was set apart for its celebration, although the whole month was considered as dedicated to Saturn; but under the emperor Augustus the term was made to embrace Dec. 17, 18, and 19, to which a fourth day, and under Caligula a fifth, was added. It would seem, however, that under the emperors the festivities in reality lasted seven days, and included three separate festivals, the Saturnalia proper, the Opalia, and the Sigillaria, so called from the little earthenware figures given to children as presents. During the Saturnalia no business of any kind was transacted, the distinctions of rank were forgotten, the utmost freedom of speech was permitted, and crowds perambulated the streets, wearing the pileus, the emblem of liberty, and shouting Io Saturnalia, much in the same spirit as in the modern carnival time; while within doors feasting and revelry were indulged to an inordinate degree.