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Happy Lupercalia!

Started by Xepher, February 14, 2007, 08:24:22 PM

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What? Not the holiday you were expecting? Missing the cheesy romantic messages and overpriced chocolates? Heh, none of that here, no sir. See, today we call it Valentine's Day, and most think of it as a girly holiday, but that's not the case at all. The real story is much more interesting.

Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270. At that time it was the custom in Rome, a very ancient custom, indeed, to celebrate in the month of February the Lupercalia, feasts in honor of a heathen god.

The focal point of this festival was a site on the Palatine hill: the Lupercal, the cave in which, according to legend, the wolf suckled Romulus and Remus. In general, the ancients viewed the Lupercalia as a purification and fertility rite. The ritual involved the sacrifice of goats and a dog in the Lupercal by priests called Luperci, who smeared the foreheads of two noble young men with the blood of the sacrificed animals and then wiped it off. At this point, the youths were required to laugh. Then the luperci, clothed in loincloths, ran about the area, lashing everyone they met with strips of skin from the sacrificed goats. Young girls were particularly eager to receive these blows, because it was believed that the ritual promoted fertility and easy childbirth. These ceremonies were accompanied by much revelry and drinking.

As you can see, the real holiday here is about running around half naked, completely wasted, laughing like a maniac, and whipping girls with goat flesh. All to honor a bitch who raised the founders of one of the bloodiest empires ever known. The Romans, as you may recall, later became great innovators in the field of pain and suffering. Without them it's likely the world would never have seen people nailed to crosses and left to die for three days, forced gladatorial combat for sport, and peasants being tossed to ravenous lions as a means of popular entertainment.

No, Valentine's Day is not a girly holiday. It is a holiday that any man should be proud to celebrate with heavy drinking, partial nudity, and whipping his girl with freshly cut goat skin. What? That's a bit too harsh you think? Well guess what, that's how it goes. You think chocolates and flowers are a better way to honor a man being beaten to death and decapitated? Me? I think we should just give up the whole thing, and find our own holidays to celebrate, rather than covering up the truth about the ones we have.

I originally posted this a few years ago on the older forums. It was supposed to be amusing, but in hindsight it sounds a little like I was angry. I'm not. Yeah, I still don't have a valentine, but I never have either, so no biggy. Anyway, hope you find the actual story amusing, whether you like the current incarnation of the holiday or not. :-)


Quote from: XepherAs you can see, the real holiday here is about running around half naked, completely wasted, laughing like a maniac, and whipping girls with goat flesh.
3 out of 4, my day has been good.
Pizza party! Pizza for everyone!....who has money?


Ahh, the Romans.  Gotta love them.  Although if it were way back then, I'd probably do any blessing from the gods that would make childbirth easier (supposedly).

I had to give obligatory chocolate to all the men in the office.  In theory, this will come back to me 10 fold on White Day.  Bleh.  I should have bought a chocolate box for myself and eaten it in secret.

My boyfriend and I wrote threatening "love" poetry to each other.  I reaffirmed that I can scare him, which is good.
"You can get all A's and still flunk life." (Walker Percy)


Good old Romans, we could stand to learn a lot from them (why can't we exile former politicians to far off lands?)


Two year old thread, revived on the right day! Because if you can't practice necromancy on roman holidays, then when can you? :-P

Happy Lupercalia everyone!


I celebrated it with two parties.


With how boring my life is right now, some goatskin-slapping would be quite welcome.
And wasn't it you who told me,
"The sun would always chase the day"?


Could do what I did.

Val Day 2009 SCA event, which involves us dressing in 14th century clothing and armor (other people in different periods) and fighting with rattan weapons. :)
(\_/)    ~Relakuyae D'Selemae
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