Valentine’s Day, ah, what a pain!
Candy – rots your teeth.
Flowers – rot themselves,.
Lingiere – Kids to rasie, who needs it.
Contrary to popular belief, Valentine’s Day wasn’t created by Hallmark, Hersheys, or 1800Flowers.
It was created by Pope Gelasius in 496 AD to honor one of the “early Christian martyrs”. He was Valentine of Terni, and became Bishop of Interamna or modern Terni around 197 AD. Alledgedly, he was martyred during the Christian Persecution of Roman Emperor Aurelian. Aurelian believed the that greatest god in the Roman Pantheon was Sol or Invictus, the sun god. He was a tad bit annoyed by the whole Jesus movement and all that Christianity stuff. So, Valentine had to go.
Today, Valentine’s Day is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other.
How did it get that way, you ask.
Well, all that lovey-dovey stuff really didn’t start until Geoffrey Chaucer pumped UP the notion of Courtly Love. You know, pure unrequited love of the Middle Ages; King Arthur, Guenivere, Lancelot and all that crap. Never mind that Lancelot and Guenivere were slippin’ off to the Motel Sex behind Artie’s back. Geoffrey was a randy old dude who trotted around England in the nude often, and loved the ladies. So, Valentine’s Day became Lover’s Day.
Or as a friend of mine called it, Single Awareness Day.
A lonely guy, no doubt.
Oddly enough, it comes from a very ancient pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 15 to avert evil spirits and to purify the cities. It released health and fertility…hence the love connection. February gets its name from Februa, the pre-pre-Roman festival that became Lupercalia. Lupercus was the god of Shepherds. I’ll leave that one alone. But, on the Ides of February, a goat and a dog were sacrificed. (PETA, leave me alone and please quit spamming me.) They also prepared mealcakes (fried grits) which were burnt by the Vestal Virgins.
But, alas, we’ve made it a day for lovers. And it’s pretty popular. One of the Hallmark Holidays, no pun intended.
American consumers spent $16.7 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2007, and each lover averaged $100! And over one billion Valentine’s cards are sent or exchanged each year.
Yikes, am I in trouble.
So, tell the one you love, that you do, give them a card, and remember, there’s a goat out there who sacrificed his life so you could express your devotion to the special someone or someones (Tiger, John, Bill, etc.) in your life.