With the major anniversary of a world-famous Roman monument on the horizon, we have taken the time to take a look at one Roman festival that shares many similarities with Christmas.

As part of Hadrian's Wall 1900 Festival - the celebrations marking the 1,900th anniversary of Hadrian's Wall - a number of events are being held across the length of the monument, including recreations of Saturnalia.

Saturnalia was a festival in honour of the Roman God, Saturn, that was celebrated on December 17 and would go on for seven extra days.

A well as the obvious link of taking place around the same time as Christmas, Saturnalia shared many other similarities with the present day festivities.

Homes would be decorated with lights and greenery, gifts would be given, feasting and drinking would be had, and the poor and weak were exalted - if only for a short while.

One tradition involved slaves getting to wear a cap that granted them freedom for the duration of the festival.

Speaking about the upcoming 1,900th anniversary of Hadrian's Wall, Chair of Hadrian's Wall Partnership, Jane, Lady Gibson said: "After many months of planning and consultation it is a great pleasure to be announcing more information about the festival.

"We are looking forward to celebrating in such a diverse and exciting way and shining a light on the Wall and the communities that live and work alongside it.

"There is a real mix of activity on offer; from traditional Roman themed events to more contemporary offerings.

"It has been fantastic to see how the Wall has provided so much inspiration to people and how activity organisers have found new and exciting ways to tell its stories."

A packed and ever-growing year-long programme is being planned and developed by communities, attractions and organisations along the Wall and during 2022 visitors can enjoy a range of talks, themed walks, exhilarating exhibitions, food festivals and re-enactments.

From December 17 to 23 2022, communities across the length of the wall will be invited and encouraged to deliver their own Saturnalia festivities in towns and villages along the wall by connecting with one another.

A Saturnalia inspired performance installation will travel the wall, visiting communities and adding to the celebrations.