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THE DECEPTIVE BUSINESS OF PAGANISM: DO WE REALLY KNOW WHAT WE’RE CELEBRATING?

Even though this ‘day of love’ has most couples rushing to make each other happy with flowers, gifts and candies, the history of Valentine’s Day is rather dicey. Most people picture a romantic St. Valentine who wrote the first love poems for his beloved and made the day famous in his name when he died. But that is nowhere near the truth.

But even before these saints, there was the gory pagan festival of Lupercalia, which was hushed up and replaced with the more demure and ‘Christian’ St. Valentine’s Day.

Pagan origins of Valentine’s Day
The origin of Valentine’s Day has a few very gory tales associated with it. Many believe that fixing February 14 as the date for St Valentine’s feast day was an attempt to ‘Christianise’ the pagan fertility festival of Lupercalia, dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture Faunus, and the founders of Rome — Romulus and Remus

To celebrate Lupercalia during February 13 to 15, the members of the order of Roman priests called ‘Luperci’ assembled in the sacred cave where Romulus and Remus were supposed to have been taken care of by the she-wolf. The priests would then sacrifice a dog for purification and a goat for fertility.

Though the men were half-naked and running through the streets, the women welcomed this act as per the beliefs of the time and actually lined up for the same.

Later on, all young and unmarried women would put their names in a big urn and the bachelors in the city would pick out a name from it, after which the couple would be paired for a year. This arrangement often ended with the couples being married.

The rowdy festival was denounced by Pope Gelacius I in 496 AD. But there is no strong proof that St Valentine’s Day was established particularly to replace or cover up Lupercalia.

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LANCESCURV IS A MASTER STORYTELLER | SOCIAL MEDIA PROVOCATEUR | ILLUSTRATOR/CARTOONIST | PODCASTER | CULTURE CRITIC | DIGITAL NOMAD | BLOGGER | EXTROVERTED RECLUSE | FOCUSING ON THE INTRICACIES OF HUMAN NATURE, TRENDING NEWS & THOUGHT-PROVOKING TOPICS OF INTEREST. CONTACT: [email protected]

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