Anyway, first off I want to say that my Fantastiversary was great, and I'm so grateful for everyone who placed orders in the past couple weeks! There's still a day left to get your entries in for my nail art contest on Instagram!
On Monday I released two new polishes in my shop. I had been thinking about whether I should do a holiday collection, but I always feel like those are a bit cliche. Too many reindeer- and Santa-related puns. Then it hit me that I could incorporate one of my interests into some holiday polish AND make it an ongoing thing, not just for December!
The result is the When in Rome collection, which is going to be a catch-all for any Rome-related polishes I make. I am a huge nerd for Ancient Rome and Latin (it's my favorite language), and in fact I have a B.A. in classics. One thing that's always interested me about the Romans is all the ways their culture is a bit alien from a modern perspective. It's strange, because they helped create the foundation for all of Western culture, and in movies they're usually portrayed as "Brits in togas", but they really did think about things differently than we do in a lot of ways, the biggest to me being religion. You can learn a lot about people from their religious practices!
Long story short, I'm going to release one or two polishes per month that are inspired by a Roman festival that was celebrated in that month. They had plenty of festivals, so I could keep this going for a couple years at least!
December's big festival (and the biggest one of the year) was Saturnalia. It was like Christmas, New Year, and Mardi Gras rolled into one, and actually helped inspire later Christmas traditions. Saturnalia lasted for several days around the winter solstice and honored Saturn, the god of agriculture, wealth, liberation, destruction and renewal. Saturn was an ancient Italian god and king of the mythical Golden Age, when all people were equal and enjoyed the fruits of the earth without having to work. He was also believed to be an ancestor of the Latin people (including Romans and their neighbors).
Here are the two Saturnalia polishes!
Io Saturnalia!: A metallic foil finish with a blend of silver and gold particles, as well as flecks of blue and purple and holographic microglitter and shimmer.
Once the solemn rites and sacrifices of Saturnalia were done, the nonstop partying began. Everyone got a break from work and spent the festival feasting, drinking, gambling and exchanging gifts (often small things like candles and figurines). The streets echoed with shouts of "io Saturnalia!", sort of a more enthusiastic version of "happy holidays!"
Saturn Unbound: A deep berry jelly with shimmers of gold, copper, red and green, plus holographic microglitter.
The legs of Saturn's statue were tied with wool for most of the year, but during Saturnalia he was released. Roman society was also released from most of its social expectations, an echo of the lost Golden Age. Masters served dinner to their slaves and had to endure a lot of backtalk. Male citizens abandoned their togas for less formal, more colorful clothes, and slaves and citizens alike wore felt caps usually reserved for freedmen.
But there was a dark side to Saturn's liberation too. It was rumored that early Romans had practiced human sacrifice to the god, and in the later empire, gladiators fought to the death in Saturn's honor.
These are both for sale now, and you get $3 off if you buy both together! I think they're perfect for the holidays even if you don't worship Saturn...
I'll hopefully be back tomorrow with my top lemmings from November!