Saturday, 9 February 2019
Misconceptions about V Day
Valentine's Day or V Day is a very romantic day of the year to celebrate love and romance. At the end of Winter there is this one holiday that is such an adorable tradition. Yes, it's better to show your loved ones how you feel every day of the year and not just one day but there is a lot of things about Valentines Day that no one knows. The origins of course, which is totally dark.
Perhaps it goes back thousands of years to a holiday called Lykaia, always celebrated on Wolf Mountain or Lykaion in Arcadia. It was said that Lycaon was a man who wanted to spoil the feast by planning to eat his son called Nyctimus. Out of punishment, the gods turned him into a wolf. This became associated with cannibalism and werewolves then although that holiday was held in the Spring. This is the much earlier phase. Long before the worship of Zeus and the Olympian gods, prehistoric people held rituals in the Wolf Mountain as archeological digs found an Ash Alter and skeletal remains of a boy with a line of stones to indicate human sacrifice. It's worth pointing out that Mount Lykaion is the birth place of the god Zeus.
It was said to be a time called Feast of the Wolf. It has to be mentioned that Lupercalia might be Lupa the Shewolf or Lupercus the god and wolf, who was known in Arcadia. Lupercus was said to have been favoured by shepherds, who felt that He watched over their flock. The festival of Lupercalia was often prepared by the Luperci priests, who wore goatskins and travelled half naked, during the festival they would purify the land of evil spirits. The cave Lupercale is where sacrifices of goats and dogs happened. Birth place and childhood home of Romulus and Remus who were raised by their adoptive wolf mother Lupa.
The ancient people of Rome celebrated Lupercalia during the season over the days of 13th to the 15th February. It's said that people got drunk; sacrificed animals, usually a goat or a dog, and then beat women with the dead animals that were just sacrificed. Vestal Virgins made salt mealcakes. People ran around the streets naked. It was considered "fertile" for women to line up so that men could assault them. Sports and games happened and winners were awarded with armour. Often it resorted to violence and bloodshed. Men picked womens' full names from a jar, and this was a very discreet and crude form of match making game that resulted in complete strangers having sex.
Emperor Claudius II executed a priest called Valentine on the 14th Februrary in the 3rd Century. This figure became a maryr and canonised as a saint, now we know who is Saint Valentine, and associated with courtly love and Valentine's Day. The reason for the link with romance and love on Valentine's Day is because Pope Glaucius I of the 5th Century sanitised the pagan holiday of Lupercalia and made it all about the Saint Valentine martyr. But people like Chaucer and Shakespeare turned the holiday cute and fluffy with love hearts and romantic love.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.