The Colorful History of Valentine’s Day

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The Colorful History of Valentine’s Day

Grayson Sakell, Writer

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On Valentine’s Day, people are encouraged to express their love to others with gifts and gestures. However, the origins of this beloved holiday are much more… Sinister. It is believed that the Romans began the origins of the holiday with their equivalent, Lupercalia. During the celebrations of Lupercalia, a goat and dog were sacrificed and women were whipped with the hides of the previously killed animals. Women actually formed lines to be whipped due to the belief that it would increase their fertility. Years later, the Catholic Church declared Lupercalia St. Valentine’s (whose martyrdoms happened to coincide with the celebrations of Lupercalia) Day in order to get rid of its pagan roots. This resulted in the holiday losing some of its more brutal qualities.

Even later, Shakespeare increased the romance surrounding the holiday by creating the tradition of making cards for loved ones. The tradition made its way to America and, after the industrial revolution, valentines started being mass-produced. Years later, the production of valentine’s-related goods has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

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