With Valentine’s Day approaching fast, many people may be looking for a Valentine. But modern-day Valentine’s Day looks a lot different than the pagan holiday that some say it originated from.
According to History.com, that pagan holiday, called Lupercalia, was a fertility festival dedicated to the Roman Goddess of agriculture, Ceres, as well as Romulus and Remus. The festival started with the sacrifice of a goat and dog for purity and fertility. Among other activities, women would put their names in an urn or bowl and men would draw a name and they would be “paired” for the year.
Then, at the end of the 5th century, The holiday was deemed “un-Christian” and February 14th was named St Valentine’s Day by the pope at the time, but it wasn’t regarded as a romantic holiday until around 1375 when “Parliament of Foules” was written by Geoffry Chaucer.
“Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticized it in their work, and it gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe. Handmade paper cards became the tokens-du-jour in the Middle Ages,” says Arnie Serpel, from NPR.
Valentine’s day is still similar to the holiday celebrated in the 1300s, but nowadays it’s much more Capitalistic, although some don’t think so.
“I would say people judge way too harshly on the capitalistic side of things,” Says Connor Hudson ’20, “I’ve found that love is way more genuine when it’s shown through words and actions.”
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