The History Of Valentine's Day

Tuesday, February 09, 2010 Posted by Shattered Paradigm

It is hard enough to have a great marriage and family as it is without thinking about which holidays your family should or should not observe. But the truth is that we all need to learn the history behind the holidays that we celebrate. For example, Valentine's Day has a history that mixes pagan traditions with Catholic ones. Originally an ancient Roman holiday known as "Lupercalia" was observed every year on February 15th. The purpose of the holiday was "to avert evil spirits and to purify the city, releasing health and fertility".  It often involved animal sacrifice and the slapping of young women with various instruments.  These traditions were thought to be good for female fertility. 

Later on, the Catholic church "christianized" the holiday and it became known as "St. Valentine's Day", but the focus continued to be on love and fertility.  In fact, many of the ancient pagan traditions have been incorporated into today's celebrations.

For example, Cupid was originally the Roman the god of erotic love and beauty.  But most Christians today love little Cupid so much that they would not dare do away with him.

For more on the history of Valentine's Day, just check out the short video from the History Channel posted below....


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