It is so interesting to look at the origins of our Holidays! Many historians believe that Valentine’s Day, long before the Christian Era, came from the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture.
To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave. The priests performed numerous rituals, one of which resulted in procuring a goat hide. They would cut the goat’s hide into strips, and take to the streets, slapping both women and crop fields with the strips of goat hide.
Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.
There’s something to be said for ancient rituals and an authentic celebration, don’t you think? . I wonder of we can manage to find a strip of leather for tonight’s festivities? ;)