ARIZONA – Although Valentine’s day is celebrated across the globe with fun and pomp exchanging gifts and red roses to endorse the relationship but the history of the day is dark, bloody and a bit muddled.
A report by NPR suggests that the exact origin of Valentine’s day is still a matter of mystery but one good place to start is ancient Rome, where men hit on women by, well, hitting them.
From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia for which the men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.
‘The Roman romantics were drunk. They were naked,’ said Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado when asked about Valentine’s day.
Lenski maintained that young women actually lined up for the men to hit them as they believed it would fertile them.
The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.
Regarding the name of day, ancient Romans can be the cause as Emperor Claudius II executed two men both named Valentine on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D.
Their martyrdom was then honoured by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.
Eventually, the tradition made its way to the New World as industrialisation helped in factory-made cards in the 19th century and in 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Mo., began mass producing valentines.
Today, the holiday is more of a business kind of a day. According to market research firm IBIS World, Valentine’s Day sales reached $17.6 billion last year; this year’s sales are expected to total $18.6 billion.
But that commercialization has marred the spirit of the special day. Helen Fisher, a sociologist at Rutgers University says we have only ourselves to blame.
‘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’ said Fisher.
Many love birds would surely be rejuvenating tomorrow in quintessential manner by exchanging chocolates and red roses but many others could have different plans due to fragile relationships but it is vital not to celebrate it in a which Romans preferred.