Ave, Sandum Citizens!
Over the course of the past few weeks, the State of Sandus has been preparing for the major Sandum holidays of the season — the Halcyon Days or Brumalia, the Consualia and Opalia, Saturnalia, the Winter Solstice and the Majesties’ Jubilee, and the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti. With the Consualia past, the beginning of Saturnalia looming, and the Winter Solstice just five days away, the State of Sandus is making final preparations for the Winter Holidays — which are expected to be the most celebrated in the recent history of Sandus. Here is a summary of preparations made and those still to be made.
XVII ad XXIII Decembro or 17 to 23 December
The Office of the Sôgmô has been preparing a Saturnalia dinner plan for some time during the Saturnalia. This meal will be celebrated by the Sandum Royal Family, the immediate family of the Sôgmô, and shall include new dishes considered symbolic of the Season. In addition to the meal held at le Palaso d’Etato (the Palace of State), Kremlum Sandus Province, the Sôgmô is preparing to create sigillaria for the Saturnalia season. Sigillaria are small clay figurines first created by the Romans and sold at markets during Saturnalia. They formed the bulk of the Saturnalia gifts that would be exchanged by members of one’s family, and thought to be symbols and representations of offerings and sacrifices. The Sôgmô shall prepare a few sigillaria for Sandum citizens, close friends and family members, and friends of the State of Sandus. The Sôgmô shall prepare a Saturnalia fire in the fireplace of le Palaso d’Etato (the Palace of State) or shall prepare a stand-in fireplace for the Saturnalia. As well, the Sande Amici group on Second Life — a recent project of the Office of the Sôgmô intended to make Sandus’s existence well-known and pursue the Second Philia Advance’s cause of “Opening Sandus to the World” — has decorated its headquarters for the Saturnalia season and has created an exhibit for Saturnalia in Sandus.
the Winter Solstice & the Majesties’ Jubilee
XXI Decembro or 21 December
The Winter Solstice is the most important Sandum administrative day of the four major administrative days on the calendar. Of the Solstices and Equinoxes, it does not differ much — charity taxes are still due on the Winter Solstice, census information is expected to be turned in and filled out on the Winter Solstice. However, in addition to these, the annual national referendum concerning the Sôgmô’s next year in office is held. During this referendum (often simply called the “Election”), citizens vote on whether or not the Sôgmô maintains the legitimacy of the Sandum People to continue to reign in the next year until the next Winter Solstice. This year’s Election will mark the third of its kind, and current early voting results of depict a unanimous vote for the continued legitimate reign of the Sôgmô. Around the time of the Winter Solstice this year, too, the Citizens’ Communist Party of Sandus is expected to release its Year Plan on the plan of developing Sandum Socialism in the new administrative year and follows the CCPS Party Conference held early last month.
Coinciding with the Winter Solstice is the Majesties’ Jubilee, which shall commemorate the Fourth Anniversary since the Founding of the first Barony of Sandus. The Office of the Sôgmô has already released a special commemorative video on the State holiday which marks Independence, Realism, and — especially — the Monarchical element in the State of Sandus’s dual definition of government as either an elective monarchy or a republic.
Dies Natalis Solis Invicti
XXV Decembro or 25 December
As is customary, the Sôgmô shall present his annual speech to the Sandum Nation-State in the early morning of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (the Day of Birth of the Unconquerable Sun). In his speech, the Sôgmô shall review the past year’s events in the State of Sandus, as well as express general holiday goodwill to all citizens, friends, and allies of the State of Sandus. This year, however, the Office of the Sôgmô shall publish an article on the holiday of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti on a comprehensive report of all actions taken by the State of Sandus in the past year, comprised of all policy projections and major events of the last Gregorian year. A similar article may be published at the end of Februario for the New Sancta Year.
It is prudent for us to report on the recent events in the State of Sandus, which have to do with the policies of the State. Concerning Sandus’s social progressive policies on LGBTQ issues, the Sôgmô, as Princeps Sande of the ROMA Sande Amici group on Second Life, raised Linden $1,000 out of Linden $6,054 to fight homophobia. In addition, and related to the Winter holidays, the Office of the Sôgmô, acting in the capacity as Sacra Flameno of the Collegio Sacerdae, has published the long-awaited Sancta hymn Gratias Deae or “Thanks, Gods”. We’re looking forward to more leitourgía throughout the holiday season!
— Sôgmô Sörgel