Dark Origins – the dark origin of Valentine’s Day and its link to Chaucer

This month, my Dark Origins post delves into the evolution of Valentine’s Day and the link between Geoffrey Chaucer and this celebration of love. Thanks for hosting, Kaye Lynne Booth.

Writing to be Read

Modern Valentine’s Day is celebrated as the day of lovers. People give each other chocolates and flowers as gifts and often do something special with their partner.

Valentine’s Day did not start off as the cutesy day filled with candy and cuddles we know, it’s origins were dark and bloody.

Lupercalia

The date of 14 February coincides with the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia which was celebrated annually on the 15th of February. The aim of the festival was to purify Rome and promote health and fertility and certain rites or observances were undertaken to achieve this aim.

These rites took place in the Lupercal cave, the Palantine Hill (the centremost of the seven hills of Rome which has been called “the first nucleus of the Roman Empire”) and the Forum. All of these locations were central to Rome’s foundation myth about the founding of Rome and the earliest history…

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30 thoughts on “Dark Origins – the dark origin of Valentine’s Day and its link to Chaucer

  1. And I thought it was the candy, greeting card and florist cartels foisting another “holiday” on us, forcing us to buy their wares and make reservations in overcrowded venues purveying overpriced food and negligible service🤣

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    1. Isn’t it nice that it is so much more interesting than that, Phil. I don’t bother with the commercialism of the day other than to hand out chocolate bars to beggars on the street. I love this poem by Chaucer. I have to read modern versions of his work but Canterbury Tales really makes me laugh.

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      1. Most, if not all religious holidays, from more than just Christianity can be traced back to Pagan roots. No fools the religion promoters. Hey, they’re used to partying on such and such a date? Great. Find us a Saint or a martyr or a rite to drop on the party calendar!
        The same gruesome origins can be traced in most fairy tales and Fablios to make them more cautionary. Cinderella’s sisters cut their toes off trying to make the slipper fit.😳

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  2. Great research– ‘During Lupercalia, the men randomly chose a woman’s name from a jar to be coupled with them for the duration of the festival. Often, the couple stayed together until the following year’s festival. Some elected to remain together and married.’

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  3. This is so interesting, Robbie, and I wasn’t aware of the dark origins of Valentine’s Day. I don’t delve deeply into them, but they seem to exist for just about every holiday. We’re not really into the commercialism of Valentine’s Day because we celebrate our anniversary in January. 🙂 And that’s why when I do blog posts, I implore everyone to think of those who are struggling, not just the romantic love. Thanks for the information. 🥰

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    1. HI Lauren, I am glad you enjoyed this post. I found the link to Paganism fascinating. Our wedding anniversary is 9 February so we also don’t do much for Valentine. I always buy my mom flowers and my menfolk (daddy included) chocolates.

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