Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Lupercalia February 15th

Another Valentine's Day has come  and gone.   Small boxes of chocolate for my co-workers, a large heart for me which hubby will eat the most of.  No complaints from me there.  I don't enjoy candy as much as I once did. Matter of fact, the whole concept of Valentine's Day has changed for me.  Guess when you are young and in love, the romanticism of the day catches up to you, but when you've been together for 20 years, well, all I can say is that things change.  Oh, you still love each other, yes, but it is a deeper, more meaningful kind of love.  I also bought a bag of 'Sweethearts'.  That's a Valentine's treat I've enjoyed since I was a little girl. I still find joy in drawing a candy from the bag and delighting in what it says.

Many stories tell how Valentine's Day began. Some say it may have grown out of the Roman feast, the Lupercalia, a Roman festival for young lovers celebrated in the month of February. The Lupercalia, which was actually celebrated on Fegruary 15th, was one of the oldest and most beloved feast days, held in honor of the god Lupercus/Pan, who protected the people and their herds from wolves. Once and important Roman festival, it was originally a rather gruesome celebration involving blood sacrifices which I don't plan to get into here. At some point it was moved up by a day and St. Valentine became the protecting saint of all friends and lovers. 

On this day, dances were held for all the young men and women of marriageable age. The names of Roman maidens were written on slips of paper and dropped into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from a jar and the two would be partners for the festival...and often for an entire year. In many cases, the partners became sweethearts and were soon married.

The Christian Church substituted Saint Valentine for the old Roman god or goddess, in accordance with their general policy of retaining the old ceremonies where they could not be eliminated and merely modifying their significance. Hence, the Feast of Lupercalia was replaced with Saint Valentine's Day. Either way, the day is a symbol of love and of lovers choosing one another.  And I certainly prefer this over the gruesome spectacle it once was.


  1. We,ve come a " long wayyyyyyyyy,baby."
    I'd druther see one red rose instead of the sight of blood. ;0)

  2. It is a shame that Valentine's day has become such a monster of a commercial day.

  3. Those candy hearts with the little sayings rock!