Thursday, February 9, 2017

Gone are the Good Old Days

Make Mine Mystery
February 2, 2017

The Dark History of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate romance and love and kissy-face fealty, right?  But the origins of this festival of candy, cupids, and heart are actually dark, bloody, and a bit muddled.
Although no one has pinpointed the origin of Valentine ’s Day, one good place to start is ancient Rome where men hit on women by, well, hitting them on the head, and other places.
February 13-15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. Men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just killed. Women would line up for men to hit them. They believed this would make them fertile. This holiday even included a matchmaking lottery, in which men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be coupled for the duration of the festival-possibly longer, if the match worked.
But where did the name come from? Emperor Claudius II executed two men-both names Valentine-on February 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.

Here’s where the ‘muddle’ comes in…Pope Gelasius I  mixed things up in the 5th century by combining St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia to expel the pagan rituals. Around the same time the Normans celebrated Galatin’s Day. Gallatin meant “lover of women.”
It all ended up being a festival of love, drinking, cards, roses, and everyone had to put their clothes back on.

 Linda Lee Kane has a master’s degree in education, school psychology, people pupil services, and is a learning disability specialist. She has authored eight books; two are mysteries, The Black Madonna: A fast-paced action adventure and an exciting, exhilarating read. Murder, mystery, and intrigue keep you on the edge of your seat. Chilled to the Bones: An adventurous and chilling ride where four high school friends find themselves embroiled in a historical mystery more than a century old. Secret codes, murder, and a lurking evil presence lead them to the point of almost no return. A page turner from beginning to end.
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