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Here is the gruesome origin of Valentine’s Day

For many people around the globe, especially for lovers, Valentine’s Day or the 14th of February is one of the most-awaited occasions.

However, many people might not know also that the event had a gruesome origin way back in ancient times.

Valentine's Day
Photo source:

Based on the article published on the site of National Public Radio, the day of the hearts started from Romans’ feast of Lupercalia which was observed from February 13-15.

During the whole duration of the feast, a goat and a dog served as sacrifice.  Then men whipped women with the hides from the slain animals.

Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder, stated that the Roman romantics were “drunk and naked”. In front of them was a queue of young women waiting to be hit by them because it was believed that it would make them fertile.

valentine's day
Photo source: NPR

Aside from this, a matchmaking lottery was made. Men drew the names of the women from a jar and the matched couple will do what lovers do for the duration of the festival or even beyond that if the matchmaking was successful.

The name of Valentine’s Day could be also from the Romans when Emperor Claudius II executed two men with the name Valentine on February 14 of different years in the 3rd century.

Following this, the Catholic church honored the martyrdome and the celebration was called St. Valentine’s Day. Pope Gelasius I mixed the said Catholic celebration with the feast of Lupercalia but did not include the naked men. During that time, Normans celebrated the Galatin’s (lover of women) Day.

This somehow created a confusion because both sound the same.

Photo source: NPR

Shakespeare and Chaucer contributed to the sweetness of the occasion over the years. Their works romanticized the event and it became popular in Europe.

Years passed and the tradition reached the New World until it became a worldwide market.

Photo source: Times of India

Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Mo started to mass produce in 1913 the greeting cards of Valentines, based on the article.

Helen Fisher, a sociologist at Rutgers University, said, “This isn’t a command performance. If people didn’t want to buy Hallmark cards, they would not be bought, and Hallmark would go out of business.”

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