Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

It’s Valentine’s Day and since I can’t be with those I would like to be with today, I have been enjoying others happiness.

For the most part, my friends are pretty cute on Valentine’s Day and they don’t gush or brag.  That makes a huge difference.   I guess I feel as though Valentine's Day isn't an excuse to shout about it but to create something special that is for those involved alone, but that's just me.

Anyway, I started looking at where Valentine’s Day came from and not shockingly it was originally a Pagan holiday (a Roman festival to be exact) until it was Christianized (pretty much like every holiday).  However, the Roman festival was held from February 13th until February 15th and was called Lupercalia.  Lupercalia was a fertility festival.

In Roman mythology, Lupercus is a god sometimes identified with the Roman god Faunus, who is the Roman equivalent of the Greek god Pan.[4] Lupercus is the god of shepherds. His festival, celebrated on the anniversary of the founding of his temple on February 15, was called the Lupercalia. His priests wore goatskins. The historian Justin mentions an image of "the Lycaean god, whom the Greeks call Pan and the Romans Lupercus,"[5] nude save for the girdle of goatskin, which stood in the Lupercal, the cave where Romulus and Remus were suckled by a she-wolf. There, on the Ides of February (in February the ides is the 13th), a goat and a dog were sacrificed, and salt mealcakes prepared by the Vestal Virgins were burnt.

And this page is also an excellent source of information on what Lupercalia is and how it was celebrated.  It’s a bit scandalous.

So then Lupercalia was Christianized upon being outlawed in the 5th century by Pope Gelasius after 

February 14th being declared Valentine’s Day.  This made Lupercalia un-Christian.  More about this topic here.

Then I stumbled across this site.  This is my favorite as they attempt to talk about all the different origins unbiased.  They also discuss where all our Valentine’s Day symbols and sayings come from.  Just find the “music” button and shut it off.  I do wish the page was formatted in a more serious matter because they have some great information.

If all of history class was focused on holiday history I would have loved history class.  I love looking at the origins of different holidays.  I hope you enjoyed my babbles.