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Cupid's dangerous arrow: Those ancient Romans and what they gave us

Those ancients were wild and crazy..

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Imagine the scene: A naked herd or folks dancing while the sacrifice of animals takes place.. There are smiles and cheers, and hopes that the burning animals will get the gods to give the dancing nudes fertility.. Oh, and then while the crazy Romans would continue in their deadly pagan rituals, men would draw names from jars and, for the duration of the festival, be 'coupled' with them.

All of this is described in this 2011 NPR story authored by Anne Seipel.. It showcases some of the darker origins of Valentine's Day..

And just as Christians always took on pagan traditions to make them their own, the same occurred here as reported by Seipel:
The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day.

Later, Pope Gelasius I muddled things in the 5th century by combining St. Valentine's Day with Lupercalia to expel the pagan rituals. But the festival was more of a theatrical interpretation of what it had once been. Lenski adds, "It was a little more of a drunken revel, but the Christians put clothes back on it. That didn't stop it from being a day of fertility and love."

Around the same time, the Normans celebrated Galatin's Day. Galatin meant "lover of women." That was likely confused with St. Valentine's Day at some point, in part because they sound alike.

There is more to the story besides the NPR article..

Countless news bits from history showcase the reason for the season.. the Roman Festival of Lupercalia  is the heart of the whole thing, no pun intended. One highlight of the many things that occurred there: Two high-born young men stripped naked and sacrificed a dog and a goat. They smeared blood on their foreheads, then wiped it off with wool dipped in milk.. Sounds somewhat like the Bohemian Grove, don't you think?

I am a romantic at heart.. of course when you have a child, your romance takes a little bit of a back seat to the more practical parenting moments. But regardless, I still think love in the air is one of the most beautiful things ever--but Valentine's Day? Lust seems to be in the air.. fake emotions, and fake flowers.. the offensiveness of men ordering giant bouquets of flowers and sending it to women at work always made me chuckle at its ridiculousness. It's all for show--and more of a modern way of dancing to the gods of fertility..

Restaurants will be filled tonight with the hopeless dopes who will spend way too much money on a dinner they'd much sooner make themselves to save time and effort. But it's all about show..

Don't get me wrong. I like going out to dinner, too! But there's certain days to avoid restaurants. New Year's eve is one of them (made the mistake this year of partaking in highly priced bad food though) and Valentine's Day is the other..Mother's Day is the final avoid all restaurants at all costs day, especially if you work at one!

 

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