Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – The True Origins of Valentine’s Day

February 15, 2022
mandyevebarnett


We are all more than familiar with the modern Valentine’s Day and it’s commercialism, but do you know the various origins of the day?

The first celebration was actually a Roman festival called Lupercalia that welcomed spring. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. Certainly, something, I think we are all glad did not continue!

The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D.

Pope Gelasius Ist muddled things in the 5th century by combining St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia to expel the pagan rituals. Also around the same time, the Normans celebrated Galatin’s Day. Galatin meant “lover of women.”

A drawing depicts the death of St. Valentine.

William Shakespeare and Chaucer helped romanticize Valentine’s Day in their works, 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.

So, not the fluffy begins we may all think of the day of love.

Please celebrate the week with a great romance all available on the online purchase site of your choice.

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