Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Where we get Valentines Day from

I never knew Valentines Day came from such weird origins . . .

Like you, I assumed it was largely a passive church holiday that Hallmark turned into a twenty billion dollar-a-year business but I was wrong.

I figured the sappy, romantic guy-chases-girl thing was a modern invention to pass the time between the Superbowl and St. Patricks Day.  Again, I was wrong.

It turns out that the genesis of this holiday goes back to Roman times.  Apparently ancient priests climbed up the hill of Rome to a small cave where they sacrificed a goat and a dog.  The goat symbolized fertility and the dog symbolized cleanliness (of course).  After killing the animals they put on a loin cloth soaked in the animals' blood and ran around Rome spanking young girls with strips of that goat flesh soaked with blood.

Girls apparently lined up for this thinking that it increased their fertility.

It gets even more interesting . . .

Then each young lady put her name in a large urn for young men to draw from that night.  The young man and the young woman paired up and engaged in . . .  'friendly' . . . activities for the rest of the week.


So when things changed and early Christianity was in charge, the early church thought it might be important to get rid of things like 'bloody spanking' and an R-rated version of "Seven Minutes in Heaven."

Can you just imagine that happening today?  Me neither.  So yeah I'm still not a big fan of the church over the centuries (google The Inquisitions or The Crusades).  But lets give a hand to someone at some point that changed bloodsport to giving chocolate.  I like that a lot better.

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