Valentine’s Day history and other such nonsense
It is originally believed to have begun with the Roman festival of Lupercalia. Lupercalia, observed February 13 through 15, was a festival to honor two mythical orphaned twins, Romulus and Remus, and the female wolf who suckled them. In Roman tradition, the twins were considered the founders of Rome.
Pope Gelasius I outlawed the festival, or put a Christian theme to it, around 496 AD and declared February 14 a day of feast for the martyred Saint Valentine. According to history, there were three martyred saints named Saint Valentine. It is unclear for which of the three martyred saints the festival was founded.
The idea of love was not associated with Valentine’s Day until a poem was written by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382. The poem was written to honor the marriage of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia.
The first Valentine card is believed to be sent by Charles, duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415.
In the U.S., the first mass-produced Valentine’s card were invented by Esther Howland in 1847.
Whatever lies behind the history, many women swoon over the impending holiday. I imagine many women are also disappointed by their love’s lack of consumerism. So cheers, ba-humbug, or whatever, it’s almost Valentine’s Day.