posted on Feb, 14 2013 @ 07:13 PM
Hey there, love birds. Just thought I'd bring some awareness to the origins of Saint Valentine's day.
The Romans used to celebrate it but it was called "Lupercalia". The goddess Juno Februata (where we get the name February) gave the young men and
women a love fever on this day that would help ensure continued fertility in Roman cultured areas of Europe.
Diana (who Februata is often associated with)
The namesake in this is, of course, the god Lupercus (the Roman's version of Pan), God of the Shepherds. He also helped ensure the randiness of the
men in order to preserve population levels. That's the god who was replaced by "Saint Valentine" by Pope Gelasius in about 500 AD or so.
Lupercus doing his thing
The high priests of Jupiter (Flamen Dialis)
would sacrifice a couple of goats and a dog (the whole Romulus and Remus
connection) then hold a ceremony where they'd smear the blood on the foreheads of a couple acolyte Jupiter priests who would then run around the city,
flogging any women you got near with the skins of the animals (playfully). Women would actually line up to receive the play lashing since getting hit
with the skins held promises of fertility and less pains during childbirth.
Women running up to the acolytes, blindfolded, in hopes of being graced with the leather thongs
Plutarch weighed in on the holiday as well and almost sounds like he was a fan:
"Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated
by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down
through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way,
and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to
The other customs that may be more familiar to the rest of us is the card giving. For once, giving greeting cards for a holiday wasn't just a greedy
invention by Hallmark. Women would place a bunch of love notes in a jug (or whatever) and then the men would draw them at random. They would then
pair off in couples based on who drew what cards. Sounds a bit like college parties, eh?
So there you have it. The evolution from Lupercalia to Valentine's Day is also very interesting but I just wanted to keep this light and friendly and
to avoid debates about religion. This is some cool history that Christians and Pagans can both enjoy.
Whatever flavor you celebrate, just celebrate love today!
edit on 14-2-2013 by Cuervo because: Sleepy as crap.