The Dark and Bloody History of Valentine's Day
As we all know, the annual festival for lovers to celebrate love is coming near. Of course, we are talking about "Valentine's Day", it is a no-brainer that most people who enjoys this holiday more are the committed couples. Generally, it is a time for us to celebrate romance and love and everything cheesy. Valentine's day may be cheesy since it focuses on giving sweets and seeing cupids around. But don't get fooled, the love festival actually has a dark, bloody and muddled origin.
"Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country." - Wikipedia
Though no one has been able to pinpoint the exact origin of the holiday, one good and more accurate place to begin is ancient Rome, where men hit on women by, well, hitting them. From February 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. It is known to have men sacrifice a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. The Roman romantics were depicted as drunk and naked during this holiday according to Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The holiday centers around the young women who would confidently line up for men to hit them. They believed that getting hit during this holiday would make them fertile. The brutal belief also includes a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. Then, the couple would be coupled up for the duration of the festival or longer, if the match seems to be accurate. The early Romans was known to be responsible for the name of this love festival. Emperor Claudius II executed two men who possesses the name "Valentine" on February 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their act of humbleness and kindness known to be martyrdom was greatly honored by the Catholic Church in which, the celebration of St. Valentine's Day started to be practiced.
William Shakespeare is known worldwide and considered to be a great person who revolutionized literature of our time also helped in giving more "love factor" and romanticized Valentine's Day through his work. He did not failed as it gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe. As the years went by, the holiday grew more sweeter. Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticized it in their work, and it gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe. Handmade paper cards became the tokens-du-jour in the Middle Ages. Eventually, the tradition made its way to the New World. 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. And until now, people are known to be celebrating this festival with more relevance to Shakespeare's idea.
Fast forward to present times, the holiday is still known to be a big business. And so the celebration of Valentine's Day goes on, in variety of ways.Some will find time to spend this day with their significant other, while some will break the bank buying jewelry and flowers for their beloved partners. Some might still find this day worth celebrating even if they are single and alone. But if in case, you want to find a way to somehow lessen the romantic feel of Valentine's day, then its dark origins may help!