You probably just pictured a whole bunch of flowers and a brunch with your loved one saying Happy Valentine’s Day. Let us give you quite a shocker because this holiday has loads more to it than you can imagine. If we were to look back at history as far as it goes, the first mentions of the February 14th date come up as a pre-Roman empire ritual. This one was called Lupercalia, and it was quite a thing. For starters, it was nothing about love or attraction.
Happy Valentine’s Day?
The whole affair was about sacrifices. At the event, everybody would gather around an altar and sacrifice scores of goats and dogs. Starting to get the happy Valentines Day feels out of it yet? But wait, there is more. Once the sacrifices were made at the altar, people used to bath in the blood of those very animals, followed by food and festivities.
Even so far, this may seem a bit normal to you. Let us further make it weird for you. Guess what happened after the food? People used to take the skins of the animals they had just killed and used to run around naked, hitting people with them.
The Current People
So many historians and commentators have made their opinions public over the whole issue, and quite honestly, one could easily predict what they have to offer. Due to the times, it is not surprising how such barbaric practices were in full effect in the pre-Roman communities. Animals were always seen as something that humans had control over, and to please the gods, they were very commonly used as sacrifices and offerings.
But the main thing to take away from all the previous narrative is that Valentine’s Day used to be much different than what the world sees today. The current scenario, as we see it, is majorly the doing of the church, and ladies and gentlemen, let us tell you about that too.
The Catholic Church
The Church saw Lupercalia as an activity that not only was barbaric but also against the practices of Christianity. To make a change and shift how the world around it used to consider February 14th, the then Pope Gelasius I brought down a few changes in the technicalities of how the holiday worked. The Church first proceeded by declaring Lupercalia illegal.
From now on, the barbaric old festival could not continue. To compensate for the holiday the people were missing out on, came the birth of a Valentine’s Day, which the Pope named after two very popular St. Valentines. These were two martyrs who were executed by the Roman Emperor back in their day, on February 14th.
But guess what, folks, this, of course, did not stop people from doing what they loved every year in February, namely getting drunk and hooking up. The French, in particular, dubbed this holiday as Galatin’s Day. Galatin roughly translates to a lover, which is where the holiday first got its romantic vibes from.
From an observational and investigative point of view, the holiday had begun to take shape and formulate into what it is commonly known today. Slowly but gradually, love started to spread in the air, as anybody who asked when is Valentine’s day was would immediately be recognized as someone with greatly romantic tastes.
And so, the Happy Valentine’s Day was born…
One more little reason, although it has little to do with actual reasoning, yet is still widely believed by the people to be a very active contributor towards making Valentine’s day that it is today, was that in England and France, the regular mating season for birds was believed to be around February 14th as a date.
Whatever the truth is to that cause, because changing rulers kept changing the calendars too, it was taken as an official thing that Valentine’s day was to be forever etched into history as a day meant for love and romanticizing.
In the Modern World
The Modern World has so many versions of Valentine’s day. The Valentine’s day, for instance, is all set to be much bigger of a festival than what came before it. Similarly, this race of outperforming and toppling the records set the year before has glamorized this age-old holiday into a commercial success. Brands give out promos and exhibit special products only for this particular day, because after all, who else speaks love better than one day of professing it all out.
The trend has also been on the rise of proposing to one’s significant others on this day because quite frankly, you will not have higher chances of scoring a yes on any other day. With that in order, go out, have fun this Valentine’s day and make sure you take advantage of all things commercial because the true spirit of a holiday lies in only trying everything on display (be it a sacrificed animal or a heart-shaped pillow).
It is quite simple, how the history of the famous Valentine’s day has turned out to be. However, in it, we find so much more than just a day that couples spend with each other. We are ready to bet that it was the first time you got to know how far back the history of this famous day goes.
From the Romans through to the Catholic Church, the day is seen as a hallmark of love and the embodiment of romance. Our only advice would be to have fun while you’re at it, but always to remember how you are part of something much bigger than what it seems.