Ahhh, Valentine’s Day. There’s a lot to love about day that’s all about love – but Valentine’s Day wasn’t always so swoon-worthy.
Listen to us break it all down on It’s Been A Big Day For…below:
In fact, Valentine’s Day has more than one dark backstory. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, one theory states that Valentine’s Day originated from the Roman festival of Lupercalia held in mid-February where drunk men would sacrifice a goat and dog and then whip naked women with the hides of the slain animals.
Apparently, it was believed that whipping the women would make them more fertile. It’s scary stuff – and hard to believe that would have spurred on a day about love.
The other, slightly more believable backstory comes from a time when Roman Emperor Claudius II prohibited the marriage of young people because he thought unmarried soldiers would fight better than married ones. A man known as St. Valentine broke all the rules and started secretly marrying people. He was eventually caught, imprisoned, tortured and eventually executed on February 14th – hence Valentine’s Day falling on that day.
If the story is true, it’s a pretty rough start for a day that now brings so many people joy. The good news is, Valentine’s Day has rapidly evolved over the years.
What was once criticised as a holiday invented by greeting card companies to make money off naive romantics has now become a day to celebrate all kinds of love – whether there are gifts involved or not.
Valentine’s Day in 2020 sees people celebrate romantic love, platonic relationships, family bonds and even self-love, which is encouraged across the board. I mean, have you ever listened to Lizzo?
For those who aren’t shacked up, Valentine’s Day has also become the perfect day to cherish your friendships. In 2010, the TV series Parks and Recreation coined the term ‘Galentine’s Day’ – the act of spending Valentine’s with your best girlfriends – which has since become part of pop culture vocabulary.
Valentine’s Day may have a hateful past but it most definitely has a bright future – whoever you love.
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