A Point of View: Valentine's Day
It was the 5th Century and the pagans knew how to celebrate.
In mid February the Romans would throw a huge festival that celebrated the ringing in of a brand new spring and fertility rites and the pairing of women with men by lottery. What? It was feast of Lupercalia.
As was customary in those days our friends the Romans celebrated by getting drunk and being naked. If you can believe this, during the festival, young women would allow themselves to be hit by men in belief that this would make them more fertile.
There was a match making lottery as well in which men would draw a number from a jar and be coupled, if you will, with a young women for the duration of the festival and may longer.
Some believe that St Valentine was a priest from Rome in the third century AD.
According to the BBC’s Newsround, “Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers. Valentine felt this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret.
When Claudius found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death.
There, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and when he was taken to be killed on 14 February he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine”. Other stories of the day’s origin abound but regardless, at the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I, replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day.
Now it’s all about notes of love, flowers, chocolates and if your luck a little hoochie woochie.
Long live St Valentine and the celebration in his honor. Just Another Point Of View.