AFRICANGLOBE – In western society, there are a plethora of pseudo holidays that are associated with automatic spending. For instance, Saint Valentine’s Day spending ranges from simple items like Valentine Cards, a box of candy to expensive jewelry and luxurious cars. Significantly, there is never a question asked. Regardless, if you are spouse or significant other. Everyone responds automatically as if its a rite of passage. Perhaps, it would be financially responsible to determine what we are celebrating and most importantly why?
Let’s investigate and identify who was Saint Valentine?
Alas, Valentine’s day, but who is this mysterious Saint, and where did these traditions come from? First, we should understand that Valentine’s Day began when the early Roman Catholic Church tried to Christianize a 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.
As innocent and harmless as St. Valentine’s Day may appear, its traditions and customs originate from two of the most sexually perverted pagan festivals of history: Lupercalia and the feast day of Juno Februata.
Celebrated on February 15, Lupercalia (known as the “festival of the sexual license”) was held by the ancient Romans in honor of Lupercus, god of fertility and husbandry, protector of herds and crops, and a mighty hunter-especially of wolves. The Romans believed that Lupercus ‘would protect Rome from roving bands of wolves, which devoured livestock and people.
To the Romans, February was also sacred to Juno Februata, the goddess of febris (“fever”) of love, and of women and marriage. On February 14, billets (small pieces of paper, each of which had the name of a teen-aged girl written on it) were put into a container. Teen-aged boys would then choose one billet at random. The boy and the girl whose name was drawn would become a “couple,” joining in erotic games at feasts and parties celebrated throughout Rome. After the festival, they would remain sexual partners for the rest of the year. This custom was observed in the Roman Empire for centuries.
It was not until A.D. 496 that the church at Rome could do anything about Lupercalia. Powerless to get rid of it, Pope Gelasius instead changed it from February 15 to the 14th and called it St. Valentine’s Day. It was named after one of that church’s saints, who, in A.D. 270, was executed by the emperor for his beliefs.
Though the church at Rome had banned the sexual lottery, young men still practiced many toned-down version, sending women whom they desired handwritten romantic messages containing St. Valentine’s name.
Over the centuries, St. Valentine’ Day cards became popular, especially by the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. These cards were painted with pictures of Cupid and hearts, and meticulously decorated with lace, silk or flowers.
Regardless of the varied sources and ambiguous history of Valentine’s Day, a few identifiable points continue to surface:
Valentine’s Day originated with a pagan Roman feast called Lupercalia. That festival was based on fertility and sexual licentiousness. In the third century, the Roman Catholic Church attempted to Christianize the ancient festival practice by naming it after the martyr St. Valentine.
When juxtaposing this day into reality, love and admiration should be express year round, and not just for one day. It should be according to everyone’s respective situation in their relationships. In reality, these pseudo holidays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Halloween, and St. Valentine’s day was created and promoted by the corporate structure solely for economic gain.
Of course, everyone should make their own personal decision, whether or not to celebrate their expression of love on St. Valentine Day, all year around or both. Even so, no one should be pressurized into committing economic indiscretions because of corporate advertising promotions. Especially, when you know the origin of the holiday and why it’s being sponsored.
Happy Saint Valentine Day
By: Sabamya Jaugu