Although Valentine’s Day is, for many, filled with flowers, jewelry, bubble baths and a lot of chocolate, many do not know its origins date back to early 300 B.C. The story behind the holiday is actually a little dark and a lot weird. In fact, after learning how it used to be celebrated, you may be grateful for the way we celebrate it today.
It all started with the Romans.
Around 300 B.C., Roman people would gather together and celebrate a feast called Lupercalia. They believed this annual festival would avert evil spirits and purify the city — bringing with it health and fertility. Men would sacrifice a goat and a dog, which they would skin to make thongs. They would then run, drunken and naked, around the city while striking women with the thongs.
The women would queue-up in excitement because they believed it would make them more fertile. As the Roman Empire became less Pagan and more Christian, this celebration transformed into honoring St. Valentine. St. Valentine was a saint who believed in love and, essentially, got sent to jail for it. He would secretly marry Christian couples during a time when it was forbidden. Before St. Valentine was killed, he left a love letter to the jailor’s daughter and signed it “Your Valentine.” This brave act did not go unrecognized. It was a noble act that has helped the historic holiday evolve into a modern day holiday of whimsical love.
So, if your Valentine forgot the flowers or didn’t get you the perfect necklace, just be glad history has evolved from those early Roman days. Want to keep the flame of love burning hot? Check out David House Jewelry, or grab a Wicked Apple to keep things sweet.