I frequently hear people complain about Valentine’s day, yet they participate in this holiday’s rituals. We all know that Valentine’s Day really should be a second Halloween. I tried to have this change, but the powers would not change it. Where does Valentine’s day come from? You have to look into paganism and the Catholic church for the answers.
Early Rome is when most people believe this holiday started. The Festival Lupercalia was celebrated to honor the births of Romulus and Remus.
This festival morphed into a celebration honoring fertility and the coming of Spring. During this fertility festival, women would toss their names into an urn. The guys would pick a character from the pot, and the fertility ritual would commence.
Christianity started to take hold of Rome, and Pope Gelasius disapproved of the fertility ritual. He created one of his own. The Catholic Church wanted a more spiritual holiday and left the urn, but men would draw saints’ names. The goal for the men was to become more saint-like though out the year. Pope Gelasius thought his idea was brilliant, and he called Valentine’s Day after Saint Valentine, the patron saint of lovers.Gelasius’ main goal was to stop people from worshipping Roman Goddess Juno. Still, his ideas were not liked by Rome’s people, and for a while, the holiday only had a trickling of followers. During Medieval times, the holiday made a comeback keeping the name Valentine’s day but not following what the Pope intended. Young men would pair themselves off with young ladies and going as far as to wear the ladies’ name on their sleeves for a year.
Many believe Chaucer and Shakespeare kept this holiday going with their writings of love.
At its best, Valentine’s Day is a day people take the time they recognize the best in each other. At worst, it is an overpriced flower, chocolate, and card holiday, which really has no purpose. A second Halloween needs to replace Valentine’s Day, so most people can enjoy the holiday.