Valentines Day  

rm_harshawj 52M
761 posts
2/9/2006 7:37 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Valentines Day

“The association of the middle of February with love and fertility dates to ancient times. In the calendar of Ancient Athens, the period between mid January and mid February was the month of Gamelion, which was dedicated to the sacred marriage of Zeus and Hera.

In Ancient Rome, the day of February 15 was Lupercalia, the festival of Lupercus, the god of fertility, who was represented as half-naked and dressed in goat skins. As part of the purification ritual, the priests of Lupercus would sacrifice goats to the god, and after drinking wine, they would run through the streets of Rome holding pieces of the goat skin above their heads, touching anyone they met. Young women especially would come forth voluntarily for the occasion, in the belief that being so touched would render them fruitful and bring easy childbirth.”

This is where the myth of Valentines day comes in (according to Wikipedia). I have no problem with this original festival. In fact, seem to me to be an interesting and even cathartic time, allowing those who have survived the winter to move their thoughts to something more favorable like bearing and raising children. At the time I am sure this was all taken very seriously, and with fervent belief. But not today.

The festival then became a tribute to Saint Valentine (any of the three that were martyred, you choose your favorite…, a priest burned during the third century. His association to romantic love is only there because Pope Gelasius in 492 AD wanted to counter Lupercalia, and bring the festival into the new secular order. This was a common practice at the time.

Today the festival has devolved into giving cards and candy, promoted by big corporations as a way to make money. Heaven forbid that we hand write our own cards or present tokens of affection that we created to loved ones, we would be missing the point (all sarcasm intended.) Valentines day has truly undergone changes over the last 2300 years.

For me it is yet again another useless and pointless holiday. Taken in todays context, it means nothing and even less to the lovers out there. How pathetic is it that someone should have to be reminded to be loving and then only on one day of the year. Shouldn’t we all want to keep the ideals of romance and love in our hearts all year long?

OK, so paint a scene… A man and a woman have been comfortable with each other for years and Valentines day rolls around. He is now expected to show his love for his woman, and she should reciprocate in some form (you take a guess as to the form). He forgets, now he’s a cad even though he has through the year been there for her, loved her and so on. Does anyone else see a problem with this?

I ask, is there a reason for this festival these days? Sure we have outgrown the need for Lupercalia, and honestly honoring any of three dead martyrs is not done either, it is just an excuse now for some companies to make money. So for me, I will keep the sentiments of love and romance in my heart all year long and when the urge moves me, I will present my loved ones with tokens of that love. I do not need to be reminded that I should do it, but I suppose there are those that do.

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