The origin of Valentine’s Day doesn’t get much press. What was once a dark and bloody time has turned into cupids, roses, and candy. Hmm. . . Maybe that’s why there’s so much red associated with this kissy face day.
The origin of Valentine’s Day might surprise you
At NPR Arnie Seipel discovered some questionable antics in ancient Rome. There was a party called the feast of Lupercalia. Here men would capture a goat and a dog then sacrifice them. They would then hit the women with the animal hides of these poor creatures.
As an effect, this was supposed to make women more fertile. The women lined up for the cause. Then all the ladies would have their name in a jar. Then the “lady lottery” would begin. Men would choose a name and they would be coupled up for the feast, or longer if they had a good match.
These not-so-feminist Valentine’s Day history facts, make me thankful to be alive today
Now I feel empowered. But it didn’t use to be that way. My Modus Operandi use to be bending over backward to please a man. This was for the reason that I thought I “needed” a man to be complete. Just like the famous line from Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire. “You complete me.” I learned it was time for some self-love for myself.
I wasn’t quite living like the Romans but I put up with more than I should have
But wait — there’s more to the weirdly sadistic St Valentine’s Day history. Two men were executed on February 14th of two different years in the 3rd Century AD. The wish of Emperor Claudius II sealed their non-breathing fate. The origin of St Valentine’s Day was also helped by Pope Gelasius. He joined the Lupercalia fest with Valentine’s Day. This was to get rid of the pagan rituals. Thanks, Pope.
This was a step in the right direction for relationships and men not to hit women
This combination of a pagan holiday was formed into a more Christian based holiday, but old habits die hard. People were still drinking wine and hitting on each other but in a different way. It remained the day for love and hopefully fertile women. But publically people left their clothes on, unlike the Lupercalia feast.
A little Valentine’s Day romance never hurt anyone, so romance yourself
A little later in the history of Saint Valentine’s Day celebration, it was promoted by Shakespeare and Chaucer. They made Valentine’s Day seem romantic for lovers. The snakey St Valentine’s Day history eventually led the holiday to the Americas. Where you can now choose to take your clothes off if you want to without getting beaten. But there is still work to do in the human rights department, maybe promoting love with cards is a good thing.
Hallmark took the handmade card for lovers to a whole new level by mass producing cards in 1913. Valentine’s Day will never be the same (Thank God!). I’ll eat cheap candy in a heart-shaped box any day while I embrace the fact that progression is being made. I don’t care if it supports a 19.6 billion dollar industry.
So you can choose to look at Valentine’s Day with disgust or with love
If I had to spend all of my money to make every man and woman treat each other fairly, with love and respect, I would do it. Coupled or single. I’ll also wait in line to eat overpriced lobster, and heart-shaped chocolate cake with my friends, joyfully.
Even if you’re single, you can celebrate that times are changing. Get your single self a box of candy for Valentine’s Day, eat some of it in the bathtub and be glad you’re not living like the Romans.
Lots of Love,
Dina Colada is a contributing author at Secure Single LLC. You can connect with her at DinaColada.com for loads of dating advice and profile makeovers or on Instagram.