Valentine Then and Now The change of Valentine Traditions over the years
6 February 2020 11:43 am
Words : Prabha Rupasinghe
From mid-January, we see the hints about upcoming valentine’s day in our surrounding. There are roses, pink teddy bears and much of the greeting card sections being filled by ‘I love You’ cards. Although, I too was worried on over-commercialising this sweet day, it Turns out some of our ancestors Valentine day traditions were far worse.
In ancient Rome, there was a three-day pagan festival called Lupercalia that people celebrated from Feb. 13–15. The holiday’s purpose was to cleanse the city. Animals were sacrificed, and their hides were given to the men, who could use them to whip any woman they wished, as this was thought to increase her fertility. Lupercalia was later Christianized and recognized by the Catholic Church as Valentine’s Day to commemorate St. Valentine. St. Valentine was a priest who performed secret marriages for young soldiers.
The first love poem attributed to Valentine was founded from England, where Charles, Duke of Orleans, in 1415 wrote to his wife – while imprisoned in ‘Tower of London’. So unlike what we believe at present, Valentines’ Day was actually a big deal back then.
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