So where did all this Valentines hoopla come from you ask? Like most holidays we celebrate there is a bit of this and a bit of that thrown in from various cultures until you get the modern holiday we all recognize. The name Valentine comes from St. Valentine, who there is not a lot of facts around. In the Saint category most of his acts were so vague that Pope Gelasius who officially named Valentine a Saint said his deeds were known only by God. Some even say his story was really that of a couple of people. He was known for performing marriage ceremonies for young men who were forbade to marry. This landed Valentine in jail where he apparently performed miraculous acts of healing. But we cannot just stop at Saint Valentine, for that was merely one of the incarnations of the holiday, and not a very glossy one. Before Valentine the ancient Romans celebrated the 15th of February as Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a Wolf holiday dedicated to Lupa, the she-wolf who raised the orphans Romulus and Remus (the founders of Rome). It was seen as a fertility holiday and some of it’s traditions which included spanking young women with whips to ensure fertility would make my crass ‘Happy V.D.” pins look mild. Yet even before Lupercalia there was the Greek holiday honoring the Goddess Juno. I am sure this bit of history has not cleared up how we got to love poems, teddy bears and flowers. For that we can thank Geoffrey Chaucer who shared with the world the stories of courtly love in the Middle ages…the stories (which were fictional) included, confections, flowers and cards.
I would like to end with saying that LOVE is the answer….
spreading oodles and oodles of Love…salicrow