Thursday, February 14, 2008
ok, I read my Wikipedia article about Valentines day, but I still feel I am no wiser about it than before I read it. According to what it states scholars say that Valentines Day is not necessarily connected to the fact that mid-January to mid-February was a time of fertility in the Roman calender. Though on the other hand the only connection between medieval saints named Valentinus and romance seems to be a "modern addition" to some obscure legend, and yet it gained in popularity as a romance-based holiday in Europe since the late medieval times, and greatly in America since the 1840's.
It is interesting to note though, that according to those additional legends, Claudius II made a decree that all young men should be single, and Vanentinus would wed young couples secretly (suggesting that he was no supporter of pre-marital relationships!) ..though, according to the addition on the addition, Valantinus had a crush on Claudius's daughter! ...though according to the addition to the addition to the addition (!), the first Valentine notes were some sort of "kvitlach", (prayer notes)!
In any event, the most likely source for the romantic elements of Valentines Day on all accounts seems to be, of course, way Pagan, and not connected to any saint. They seem rather to be connected to "Lupercalia", in which "many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to pregnancy". Though, of course, that doesn't really account for the romance aspect.
I also found it interesting, though, that in Egypt, many of the youth are getting into Valentines Day, against the will of their elders (mainly because there is a great unemployment rate, and the youth are looking for a way to express their love in public".