i am no scholar, so please refrain from making an ass out of yourself in any correction you may choose to point out here. your douche baggery would be monumental
all about Valentine’s Day
i guess we should start here with a bit of information about paganism. pagan comes from the latin root paganus. this roughly translates to mean olden country dweller, and is often translated to rustic. from the modern theological perspective, it encompasses all spiritual and culture beliefs that can be easily defined as:
- folk religion
- belief in multiple gods or entities
- demonstrations of these religions or beliefs
based on these criteria, Catholicism (and other nonspecific Christian religions) are pagan, though they refuse to believe they fall into this category in the slightest. Christians have nearly always been caustic when it comes to religion differing from itself. originally, Valentine’s day was believed to be a Roman holiday based around Lupercalus/Frebruata Juno celebrations. Frebruata is known as a goddess of fertility and sexuality. Lupercus was associated as the god of the pasture (and supposedly all that resides there in). the feast of Lupercalia occurred in their honor. Catholics, as with many other “pagan” festivals, bastardized it and stripped it of its original context by suppressing its normal practice. tack on a Catholic saint’s name and call it something new. obviously the first few years would be difficult, but enough people integrating changes out of convenience, indifference, or fear. next thing you know *poof! nearly “instant” Christian holiday.
this is just one belief in its origins. there are several others depending on who you talk to. at some points the theories run parallel to each other and even converge. this general relativity is commonly a sign of core truths in all of the stories, and shows that you could look past a lot of the information and read only the subtext. that all of the theories are correct, and have been slightly embellished over the years, appearing to be separate from each other.
THE St Valentine is actually an amalgam. he was up to 11 people all of whom had their own days of celebration under Catholicism. back in 1969, this was bunched together and became what it is today. there is a further amalgam in the fact that it is primarily celebrating Valantine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Significant speculation in the past shows that though all records show them to have died nearly a hundred years apart, they may actually be the same individual and records may be incorrect. as all of the celebrated Valentine,s were killed or cannonized on the same day, it is also speculated that they were ALL the same person, reinterpreted through folklore and misinformation.. so there you go.. 11 saints and a lot of condensing and confusion.
we can blame Chaucer (the man who wrote the Canterbury Tales) for the direct modern association of love with the holiday. “for this was on St. Valentine’s day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate”… Chaucer Chaucer Chaucer. thanks. no really. Parliament of Foules is where this quote started. English society began associating lovers with the feast of Valentine because on that day the birds start to fall in love… such a simple thing.. i really wish there was a bit more to it, but from all i have found, there isnt.
the traditional sending of “Valentines” can be attributed to the custom started of men and women writing love letters to the patron Saint Valentine. Valentine of Rome, being a miracle worker supposedly healed a jailers daughter who lost her sight. after her sight returned, he gave her a letter that was signed “from your Valentine”. whether this is fact or another yarn is up for debate, but the giving of notes to one you care for continues in this manner.
more likely, this appears to be a replacement for other old pagan ceremonies where names were chosen out of a pot. boys and the girls (whose names they had pulled) were then bound together for the remainder fo the year, details on what their relationships were like are unknown to me. the church tried to take advantage of this tradition by having people choose the names of saints from said pot instead of the names of girls. people who pulled names were to emulate, for the next year, the values that their saint was known for. how bad could that be right? well what if you got stuck with a really really really bad or lame saint? examples:
- Jesus Malverde, the patron saint of drug traffickers (i dont know that he was cannonized, just that the locals loved him enough to call him a saint and made a church in his honor)
- Ignatius of Antioch, saint of throat ailments
- St Vitus, patron saint of comedians, dancers and epilepsy
- St Zita, saint of lost keys
- Saint Nicholas, (yup, the one and only Santa Claus) patron saint of prostitutes among other more widely known things
not being Catholic, these may or not be accurate as the interwebs sometimes lies to us, but you get my point here. it could be terrible beyond belief if you pulled the wrong name. it would be worse than pulling the smelly girl’s name in the pagan ceremony.
now is when we get to the boring part of the holiday’s history.. fast forward a few hundred years. it is the mid 1800′s. Mass greeting cards are first produced out of lace and sold to the public. nothing of interest has happened since then. it is all just the same old story titled “how to make a buck off a holyday” as written by Paimi Monet lace turned to paper, paper turned to un-recycled card-stock. card-stock got crappy cartoon characters and pictures of the BRATZ stenciled on them candy candy candy. expensive gifts and jewelry. bad Zales diamond commercials, red heart shaped mylar balloons that knock you in the head on your bus ride to work, more bad candy. swoony women, heart ache and disappointment, missed expectations and occasionally, a pretty damn good day..
venereal disease.. i was going to tie this in somehow. oh yeah. HAPPY VD every one.
humorous image of the Valentine guillotine was found here www.pizzabytheslice.com
best part, and unfortunately they do not mention if it was on purpose, was that many of the amalgam Valentines were beheaded.. i dont know how many, and i do not think that the guillotine was used, but it is still humorous.
WW2 VD poster was found on nih.gov