Valentine Day has some dark origins; find out how it all started

Valentine Day has some dark origins; find out how it all started

From Feb 13 to 15, Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia; read to know more

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, February 14, 2023, 12:26 PM IST
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Valentine Day has some dark origins | sourced

Valentine's Day, known as the day of love, expressing love to your loved one, gifting them and spending quality time with them. But are you aware that the day has a dark history?

The origin of the day has nothing to do with these rosy celebrations; it was in fact, terribly violent. Its place of origin is ancient Rome.

From Feb. 13 to 15, 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.

According to Noel Lenski, now a religious studies professor at Yale University; the Roman romantics were drunk and naked. Young women would line up for the men to hit them. They believed this would make them fertile.

The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be coupled up for the duration of the festival or longer, if the match was right.

Emperor Claudius II executed two men, both named Valentine, on Feb. 14 of different years in the third century. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day.

William Shakespeare romanticized Valentine's Day in his work, and it gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe. Handmade paper cards became the tokens du jour in the Middle Ages. The Industrial Revolution lead to the factory-made cards available in the 19th century. In 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Missouri in United States produced these cards in bulk. The day from then has became much commercialized.

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