The Dark Origins of Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate romance and love and kissy-face fealty. But the origins of this festival of candy and cupids are actually dark, bloody — and a bit muddled.

Though no one has pinpointed the exact origin of the holiday, one good place to start is ancient Rome, where men hit on women by, well, hitting them.
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From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.

The Roman romantics “were drunk. They were naked,” says Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They believed this would make them fertile.

The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival – or longer, if the match was right.

The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day…

Continued at NPR

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Live's picture
Member since:
28 November 2004
Last activity:
3 years 16 weeks

When in Rome, do as The Romans do! XD

Sometimes we get what we need instead of what we want.

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
3 hours 2 min

Those people had all the fun!

Annabell Rambert's picture
Member since:
18 January 2014
Last activity:
47 weeks 5 days

A very insane and cruel story. I think that the females were very naive to believe that being whipped would help them to become fertile. Also it is inappropriate and gruesome to slain an animal. Enough of the dark side of Valentines day, Go here
and find out how it really started.

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
3 hours 2 min

Examining the past of most festive holidays reveals a pagan origin.

Here is a plaque I start selling a lot of as Valentine's Day approaches, so most people do not have brutal associations with ancient rites and practices:
http://orgonia.bigcartel.com/product/exc...