Valentine's Day (EW-5)
What comes to mind when you hear Valentine's Day? Flowers? Couples? Chocolates? Love? Well the origins of this holiday of love are actually a lot darker than you might expect!
Valentine’s Day is actually believed to have started in Ancient Rome with a festival called Lupercalia. At the beginning of the festival the men would sacrifice goats or a dog (*le gasp* I know it’s horrible) to the gods, They would take the skins of the goats or dog and whip willing maidens with it. The maidens believed that it would bring them fertility. All of the willing maidens would put their names into a box for the bachelors to draw out. The maiden and bachelor would then be romantic partners for the festival and sometimes would even marry.
Later on when Rome fell and christianity had taken over Pope Gelasius abolished the celebration of Lupercalia due to it being “savage” or whatever. There was a big dispute over this since it was a big part of Rome’s culture. Later on England did end up changing parts of Lupercalia but did keep some parts. The bachelors kept drawing Maidens names from boxes but they did not whip them with skins of animals. The bachelors would pin the maiden's name onto his sleeve and wear it for the whole festival. Pope Gelasius is actually believed to have been the one to start Valentine’s day as more of a Christian version of Lupercalia.
Inferences And Values!!!
Many can Infer that Lupercalia itself was pretty brutal and savage and horrible. But back in Rome’s time that was their belief. If whipping a maiden with the skin of a dead dog was supposed to bring her fertility then go ahead and do it!
I personally think we should bring back putting people's names in boxes and drawing them out. THAT IS PURE GENIUS!!! Also that would save so much hard work trying to find a boyfriend or girlfriend. Plus you would only have to date for a week and then you could never talk again or like actually date. We wouldn’t have to go as far as marriage though.
This started in Ancient Rome and has ties with Christianity too. In Chapter 5 of our textbook we talked about Roman and Greek cultures which this celebration fits into. Plus even though we haven’t really covered popes and that whole system we have covered many aspects of Christianity
St. Valentine is who we should all give credit to for the name for our beautiful holiday of love. But did you know there were actually TWO men named Saint Valentine that could have had this holiday dedicated to them. What is even more surprising is that there were A DOZEN Saint Valentines and a POPE!
The main thing I didn’t understand was how did lupercalia and Saint Valentine's Day turn into our Valentine’s day today? How did we manage to take a festival of fertility and love and the celebration of a Saint and turn them into a day where people eat a crap ton of chocolate and give flowers to each other?
Did you know?
Red Roses are used on Valentine’s day because red stands for Strong Romantic Feelings.
Over $1,000,000,000 in chocolate will be sold during Valentine’s Day!
15% of women will send THEMSELVES flowers on Valentine’s Day.
In 2011 Iran, India and Pakistan All either banned or protested against Valentine's Day due to it being seen as a Western holiday of lust.
Lace is often used in Valentines Day decorations. Lace comes from the latin word Laques which means to snare or net. Which in this case might be someone’s heart, figuratively of course.
About 3% of pet owners will get their pets stuff for valentines. (I aspire to be them)
64% of men won’t plan ahead for Valentine’s day. (Y’all need to start planning NOW!)
Where did the candy and flowers come from??
Back in the 1800’s doctors would tell women to eat chocolate to heal their broken hearts.
Candy hearts actually originated from A pharmacist named Oliver Chase in about 1847. He originally made the candies to soothe throats and cure bad breath. His brother Daniel was the one to actually put phrases on the hearts, although they weren’t hearts quite yet then, and the became a hit. The actual heart shape we know and love today wasn’t even available until 1902.
Flowers, Primarily Red Roses are usually seen being given to a girl, or guy sometimes, on Valentine's day. Roses were actually the Roman Goddess Venus, the goddess of love, favorite flower. Fitting amiright?
During the 1700s in England, a girl would pin four bay leaves to her pillow and eat a hard-boiled egg, including the shell, on the eve of Valentine’s Day. If she dreamed of a boy that night, she would soon marry him.
Girls would also write boys’ names on small pieces of paper, cover them with clay, and drop them into the water. When the clay broke, the papers floated to the top. The first name the girls could read would predict whom they would marry. Now this is something I would try… Not the egg and bay leaves part, the clay and paper thing.
Girls would also believe that the first bird they saw on Valentine’s Day would be the type of man they would marry. If they saw a blackbird, they would marry a clergyman, a robin redbreast indicated a sailor, and a goldfinch indicated a rich man. A sparrow meant they would marry a farmer, a bluebird indicated a happy man, and a crossbill meant an argumentative man. If they saw a dove, they would marry a good man, but seeing a woodpecker meant they would not marry at all.
What I Have Learned!
Throughout writing this blog at the last minute I have learned that Valentine’s Day and Lupercalia both have amazing traditions included in them. I’ve learned that some people ban things due to their own views on what is right and what is wrong. I think I’ve learned more about the people behind Valentine’s Day than I’ve learned about my own brother! I’ve learned that sometimes things you think were made for one thing turn out to be for something different.
After learning all of what I have taught you will you still think of Valentine’s Day the same? Will you still hope some cute guy or girl will give you chocolate and flowers? Will you hope that you might get your first kiss? Will you still think about how hard relationships are these days and how agonizing it is to have a crush? Or will you eat a hard boiled egg with the shell and put bay leaves on your pillow? Or put your name in a box like some Valentine’s day Hunger games thing? Will you think about how this beautiful holiday came to be? I know that from here on out I’ll look at this holiday a lot differently. I’ll be thinking about the true facts behind what has come to be an expensive holiday.