Valentines Day

Turns out that Valentines Day has no basis in historical fact, and so serves no purpose other than to artificially increase the price of flowers and greetings cards. Share this fact with your loved one at your peril.

There is no way of knowing for sure if Valentine was killed on 14 February, or if he could miraculously cure diseases, or if he wore a ring with the engraving of Cupid – a pagan symbol – or if there were one or more Valentines, or if Valentine existed at all.

Its historical origins as a celebration are thought to have begun with the Roman festival of Lupercalia, where, to celebrate the mythological founders of Rome, the Romans would do very odd things:

The festival involved the sacrifice of a goat and a dog; the goat’s hide would be cut into strips and dipped in its blood, and priests, called Luperci, would then carry these strips and gently slap crop fields and women with them, with the latter being eager for this treatment as they believed that it would make them more fertile in the coming year.

That sounds more fun than trudging around looking for greetings cards. Where did I put my goat?