Friday, February 13, 2009

St. Valentines Day: The Origins of Valentine's Day

Origin of Valentines Day
The Festival of Lupercus: Lupercalia
It was during the reign of Pope Gelasius, that this festival of Lupercus: Lupercalia became a Christian custom: "As far back as about 496AD, Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia from February 15 to St. Valentine's Day on February 14" (source: Customs and Holidays Around the World, Lavinia Dobler, p.172). The Emperor Constantine had made "Christianity" the official religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century. By this time, much of God's holy truth had been discarded and replaced by pagan philosophy. Constantine himself, was a sun-worshipper. The Roman Catholic church's main concern was to convert the pagans as quickly as possible. These conversions were to be made at any and all costs. This included allowing their pagan customs to continue - ONLY, "Christian" names were to be placed upon them. Hence Lupercalia became St Valentines Day.

First, we should understand that Valentine's Day began when the early Roman Catholic Church tried to Christianize an ancient pagan Roman holiday called Lupercalia. That celebration was a licentious festival that honored Lupercus, the hero-hunter of wolves. This festival was so immensely popular among the Roman people that church leaders included it in their calendar, hoping to retain their new parishioners and turn them from sexual licentiousness to morality by linking it to a saint.

Saint Valentine?
Valentines Days has no relation to Saints. Researching Saint Valentines Day in most reference works would lead to a third-century Catholic martyr named Saint Valentine. However, the Encyclopedia Britannica states in its 15th ed., vol 10, p.336: "St. Valentine's Day as a lovers' festival and the modern tradition of sending valentine cards have no relation to the saints but, rather seem to be connected either with the Roman fertility festival of Lupercus: the Lupercalia (kept on the evening of Feb.14th and the day of the 15th) or with the mating season of birds." This information is reiterated by the Encyclopedia Americana (article: "ST. Valentine's Day"): The customs of Valentine's Day "have been handed down from the Roman festival of the Lupercalia, celebrated in the month of February, when the names of young women were put into a box and drawn out by men as chance directed." This (of this/that) is the origin of valentines day - cards linking men and women together for sexual purposes.

Who Is Lupercus?
Lupercus - The Roman god of agriculture and shepherds, also an epithet of Faunus. The Luperci sacrificed two goats and a dog on the festival of the Lupercalia, celebrated on February 15. This took place in the Lupercal, a cave were, according to tradition, the twins Romulus and Remus were reared by a wolf. This cave is located at the base of the Palatin Hill. Goats were used since Lupercus was a god of shepherds, and the dog as protector of the flock.

The Ritual of Lupercalia


The festival began with the sacrifice by the Luperci (or the flamen dialis) of two male goats and a dog. Next two young patrician Luperci were led to the altar, to be anointed on their foreheads with the sacrificial blood, which was wiped off the bloody knife with wool soaked in milk, after which they were expected to smile and laugh. The sacrificial feast followed, after which the Luperci cut thongs from the skins of the victims, which were called Februa, dressed themselves in the skins of the sacrificed goats, in imitation of Lupercus, and ran round the walls of the old Palatine city, the line of which was marked with stones, with the thongs in their hands in two bands, striking the people who crowded near. Girls and young women would line up on their route to receive lashes from these whips. This was supposed to ensure fertility, prevent sterility in women and ease the pains of childbirth. This tradition itself may survive (Christianised, and shifted to Spring) in certain ritual Easter Monday whippings.

History of Valentines Day

Valentine's Day began to be popular around the 17th century in Great Britain. By the middle of the 18th century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in America.

Who Still Celebrates Saint Valentines Day?
Saint Valentines Day is actively celebrated in these Six Countries: Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Mexico, France. Two called United may have also began the mother of all wars in Iraq. So perhaps what they are United in is pre-emptive law law vengeance. Valentines Day Got Canceled in 1969 for being an orgy of consumerism The Roman Catholic Church, which originally made this pagan feast of Lupercus: Lupercalia into a religious Saint Valentines Day holiday, also canceled it in 1969 when they realized it had gone from an intended festival of love to an orgy of consumerism.

Officially there has been no Saint Valentines Day for 40 years
Officially there's no Saint Valentines Day since 1969. But since many people remain traditionally ignorant, St Valentines Day seems to continue on being on calendars in 2009, forty years after it got canceled; And in stores Valentines Day continues being an orgy of consumerism, a profitable windfall for flower shops, card makers, chocolate makers, and jewelers who windfall profit as makers and lovers of lies, since there never really was a Saint Valentine, and the origin of Valentines Day was a pagan festival of Lupercus called Lupercalia.

Valentines Day Trivia
  • Valentines Day got canceled in 1969 for being an orgy of commercialism.
  • Over 75% of valentines for Saint Valentines Day are purchased by women.
  • The Greeting Card Association expects Americans to buy 190 million Valentine's Day cards in 2009. That figure shoots way up to 1 billion when cards sold in packages for schoolchildren are included.
  • Saint Valentines Day: It's the second biggest day for cards. Besides chocolates and flowers Saint Valentines Day is big on cards, second biggest card selling day of the year (next to nearly Billion at Christmas).
  • It's a windfall for card shops, flower shops, chocolate retailers, jewelers.
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