The best part about Valentine's Day is when the glitz and glam are over, you're finally in bed, the clock strikes midnight… and a bunch of chocolates nationwide are 50% off.
If you couldn't tell already, I think the celebrity of Valentine's Day is a bit dramatic and like most things, it has derailed from its original intent. When I say original, I'm referring to the Feast Day for St. Valentine (226AD - 269AD) which replaced the Roman festival of Lupercalia. Although if we really want to get into it, the history of the holiday is more than alive today - 1600 years later.
If you're not sure, let's play a game. I'll give a custom and you mark down if it is present-day Valentine's Day or Lupercalia.
Is celebrated in mid-February
Is named after a religious figure
Is a religious feast day
And finally… is associated with pairing off men and women by lottery.
I can agree that last one got a bit out of control, but I assure you that you won this mini-game! Valentine's Day and Lupercalia share these four things, so whichever you put down was indeed correct! Now, if you're worried about the application of the last one in today's society, I insist you look at the surge in eHarmony, Tinder, Bumble, Christian Mingle, and every other online dating site's members!
It's kinda crazy when you think about how much we as humans have been through, developed, innovated since the fifth century, but on February 14th we still celebrate the same holiday as the Romans did since 6th century BC. Sure, there are plenty of differences between the two holidays. And now, it seems like Valentine's Day is just about overly expensive chocolates in heart boxes, but the origins have not changed and won't be in the distant future.
This is one main reason why holidays always remind me about the cyclical patterns of humanity. We can run toward the future all we want; but, we tend to just reinvent the past while doing so. There's something satisfying to this argument.
So when you think of Valentine's Day, think of Lupercalia and the similarities we have with our past. And most importantly, think of how much more delicious chocolates in heart boxes are when they are on sale.