Incidentally, the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia (in honor of Februata Juno-the Roman goddess of women and marriage, was an annual three day festival in order to increase fertility. It was started by Romans in the 4th century BCE. It was held on February 13th -15th. Some believe the festival honored Faunus, who was a god of herds and crops and much like the Greek god Pan; thus, the “Feast of the Wolf.”

Consequently, Pope Gelasius officially condemned the pagan Roman festival and banned it observance at the end of the fifth century. Incidentally, many of its practices quickly appeared in a newly established holiday added by him to the official’ church list of feast days in A.D. 496; Hence, St. Valentine’s Day. What amounted to a revamped Lupercalia gradually turned its self into the Valentine’s Day we know today; which included Cupid(Eros) the Roman god of desire, affection, and erotic love and son of Venus (the Roman goddess of love and beauty)and Mars.

Incidentally, today, Valentine’s Day, among many other pagan holidays, is a festival that has been incorporated into many church’ activities without regard to its pagan origin(s). Consequently, historically, the pagan festival was celebrated with a lottery in which a man would draw the name of a woman and she would become his love (sex-which is a sacred union in paganism) companion for the day, a year, or the rest of their lives. These partners exchanged gifts as a sign of affection, and often married. However, Christianity tried to further change the celebration of Lupercalia by first replacing the lottery names of women with saints. The idea was that during the following year the young men would emulate the life of the saint whose name they had drawn.

Incidentally,in short…because the point of the moment is that Valentine’s is of pagan origin, there are at least three different Saint Valentines, all of whom were Christian martyrs of February 14. One of them is described as a priest from Rome, another as a bishop of Interamma, and the third from Africa. Eventually, due to its pagan origins and practice, the Catholic church decided to abandon St. Valentine’s Day in 1969. Incidentally, the French government banned it’s practice in 1776. And, in Italy, Austria, Hungry, and Germany also banned the ritual over time. Furthermore, Valentine’s Day had also been banned in England during the 17th century when the Puritans were strong.

However, in 1660 Charles II revived it. From there, it also reached the New World. Incidentally, Esther A. Howland produced one of the first commercial Valentine’s Day cards in 1840′s. The whole Day is supposed to be Full of LoVe. I can see how that is special to celebrate for those showing a day of appreciation. Hence, the Valentine’s industry has been very profitable ever since.

 

notes:
Incidentally, in further writings I will go more into a transpersonal perspective of what Cupid, Kamadeva, Venus and Psyche mean(s) to me. However, for the moment…this post is purely informational to help shed light upon the origins of the pagan holiday known as Valentine’s Day.