I have a lovely little Pagan Calendar app on my phone that tells me all about important Pagan dates. I thought I'd share what it has to say for today and also let you know that this app is free in the google app market.
Date: December 17th Every year
Description: Saturnalia is the feast at which the Romans commemorated the dedication of the temple of the god Saturn, which took place on 17 December. Over the years, it expanded to a whole week, up to 23 December. The Saturnalia was a large and important public festival in Rome. It involved the conventional sacrifices, a couch (lectisternium) set out in front of the temple of Saturn and the untying of the ropes that bound the statue of Saturn during the rest of the year. Besides the public rites there were a series of holidays and customs celebrated privately. The celebrations included a school holiday, the making and giving of small presents (saturnalia et sigillaricia) and a special market (sigillaria). Gambling was allowed for all, even slaves; however, although it was officially condoned only during this period, one should not assume that it was rare or much remarked upon during the rest of the year. It was a time to eat, drink, and be merry. The toga was not worn, but rather the synthesis, i.e. colorful, informal "dinner clothes"; and the pileus (freedman's hat) was worn but everyone. Slaves were exempt from punishment, and treated their masters with disrespect. The slaves celebrated a banquet: before, with, or served by the masters. A Saturnalicius princeps was elected master of ceremonies for the proceedings. Saturnalia became one of the most popular Roman festivals which led to more tomfoolery, marked chiefly by having masters and slaves ostensibly switch places. The banquet, for example, would often be prepared by the slaves, and they would prepare their masters' dinner as well. It was license within careful boundaries; it reversed the social order without subverting it. The customary greeting for the occasion is a "io, Saturnalia!" io (pronounced "yo") being a Latin interjection related to "ho" (as in "Ho, praise to Saturn").