February 14th. What does that date mean to you? A day of love, flowers, chocolates and cupid??
“Cupid (Lat[in] cupido, desire, love). The Roman god of love, identified with the Greek Eros. He is usually represented as a beautiful winged boy, blindfolded, and carrying a bow and arrows.” ~Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.
The World Book Encyclopedia: “Valentine’s Day comes on the feast day of two different Christian martyrs named Valentine. But the customs connected with the day . . . probably come from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia which took place every February 15. The festival honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature.”—(1973), Vol. 20, p. 204.
Don’t get yourself in a “panic” IF you don’t get any flowers, chocolates or arrows today…
“The roots of what is now called Valentine Day can be traced back to ancient Greece, where worship of Pan flourished. This mythical half-man-half-goat fertility god had a wild, unpredictable nature that struck terror into humans. Aptly the English word “panic” literally means “of Pan.”
“Pan was supposed to watch the flocks while playing his pipes. However, he was easily distracted. Pan had many love affairs with nymphs and goddesses. One sculpture shows Pan making advances to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Eros, the god of love, hovers above them flapping his wings—much like the Cupid found on valentines today.”
“In Rome many worshiped a similar god named Faunus. He too was depicted as half man and half goat. Worship of Faunus was prominent at Lupercalia, an orgiastic festival that was observed each year on February 15. During this festival scantily clad men raced around a hill, brandishing goatskin whips. Women who wanted to bear children stood near the path of these runners. Striking a woman with a whip, the Romans believed, would ensure her fertility.“
No thanks, I don’t worship Faunus…and i’d rather NOT be struck by any whip -lol:) As a married mother of 4, i can honestly attest to the fact that Juno, Pan (and/or a goatskin whip) had nothing whatsoever to do with my fertility! -lol:)
As a “Flexible-Compassionate-Investigator”–(see last post: Boyle, Sagan: Scientific and Spiritual “Understanding” of Life Interdependency Part 3)…you’ve investigated the origin of Valentine’s day for yourself, right??
To, hopefully, help you out and “possibly” e-x-p-a-n-d your knowledge on this topic…and slash/the pretense/exploitation of love/vulnerability as commercialism/big business on a day like today…PLEASE, check it out:
“The nearing of Valentine Day in Japan stirs up strong feelings—not just of romance but of big business. For decades the chocolate industry urged the public to give sweets as a token of love on February 14. Extensive advertising paid off as sales of chocolates steadily increased.”
“Unlike the West, the Japanese custom is for the women to buy for the men. But the business of Valentine Day does not end on February 14. One month later, on March 14, the men must reciprocate—with white chocolate. Why? The Daily Yomiuri answers: “The designation of white gifts prevents any stingy or sneaky men from giving back the chocolate they received and neglected to eat.”~A New Name for an Old Orgy
“According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, Lupercalia was abolished by Pope Gelasius I in the late fifth century C.E. Yet, today we find a modern-day counterpart prospering under the title: “Saint Valentine’s Day.” There are various theories regarding the origin of this “Christianized” name. According to one story, the third-century Roman emperor Claudius II forbade young men to marry. Valentine, a priest, married young couples secretly. Some say that he was executed on February 14, about 269 C.E. In any case, a “saintly” title cannot conceal the unsavory origin of this celebration. Valentine Day is rooted in pagan rituals…”
Personally, i’m not too keen about mass coercion/obligation/peer-pressure put on people to conform to certain ritual/s!…and that potentially exploit the emotionally vulnerable and their pockets!…Does Genuine Love need just 1 specific “sentimental” day for expression?! (Will you participate or not in popular Valentine Day rituals/customs?)
Compassion and genuine, unselfish love (agape & friendship) should flourish year-round and should not be exploited by big business for any “unjust” profit! What do you think?!
*Does deep, unselfish love need a super-showy-sentimental-display to “manifest” itself as real or is it subtle?!
If 1 bouquet symbolizes love…what does a field of flowers (symbolize)?? If 1 paper card symbolizes love, what does a forest of trees?? If 1 teddy bear holding 1 box of chocolates says: “I love You”…what do real-live bears eating honey mean?? (Makes 1 wonder: Could these be “love” expressions from the Creator/Designer-Organizer of the Universe?!:)
*Real love is special…supremely sublime and…sometimes…
Veggie heart photo available from Shutterstock
Field of flowers photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 19 Feb 2013