The Dark And Weird History Of Valentine’s Day
Love is in the air for those who who are in relationships, or just love to be romantic, but if that's not you, I have the perfect crazy fact you can tell people to ruin their lovely Holiday. Readers beware this gets weird.
The New World Celebration:
Lets start of with the basics. The industrial revolution ushered in factory-made cards in the 19th century. And in 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Mo., began mass producing valentines. February has not been the same since. The holiday is now big business. Valentine's Day sales billions.
Let's start with a more calm origin of the holiday with the pagan belief, it was a festival, and while some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” 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, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. Most matches made on this day would end in marriage.
The Original Roman Celebration:
And here it is the very weird one! Men would "hit on woman" by literally hitting them on the head! From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the 'Feast of Lupercalia.' The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain, still don't know why, and it gets weirder. The terrible fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, lets say "coupled up" for the rest of the festival.
These ancient Romans are most likely also responsible for the name of our modern day holiday. Emperor Claudius II executed two men, who were both named Valentine on the same day, Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day.
We can also thank Shakespeare romanticizing the holiday and making it less, well um, less awful. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!