Today is Valentine’s Day, or as I choose to call it “Cliché and corniness day” and as usual, planet earth dresses in red and across the globe, millions of otherwise perfectly rational adults will embark in the stupidest actions to profess their love to each other, announce their desire to be each other’s sweethearts and live in a state of infantilized bliss, complete with emetic nicknames and a sick fascination for soft toys and satin hearts. What these fluffy protestations of love have to do with the true essence of the word, is beyond my understanding, but alas, i won’t start this by complaining!
St Valentine’s Day presents mutual human desire as something smug and mutually self-absorbed, after which, for the rest of the year, we go back to the battleground of mutual misunderstanding and transgender bafflement.
This is an absurd phenomena to me, why do we have to limit our love, or the manifestations of our love to one certain day year? And what is the true significance of this day?
We all know that it’s St. Valentine day, but what do we know about this Valentine that we all so fervidly celebrate (whether we are Muslims, Christians, Hindus and or of any other faith), why have his day become the international festival of love and romance?
I looked up on Wikipedia, and i found out that:
“Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. Until 1969, the Catholic Church formally recognized eleven Valentine’s Days. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who suffered martyrdom about AD 269.
Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) about AD 197 and is said to have been killed during the persecution of Emperor Aurelian.
The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him.”
So which of those Valentines is the Valentine we celebrate today? And furthermore what connects any of these Valentines with love and romance?
Nothing! Nil! Naught!!!
No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs. Saint Valentine was not linked to romance until well into the fourteenth century, and by then distinctions between Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost.
And even the basis of the romantic association which were found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules (1382) are argued to be not referning to the Valentine day we celebrate, becuase he wrote:
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
Henry Ansgar Kelly has pointed out that in the liturgical calendar, May 2 is the saints’ day for Valentine of Genoa and that this would be the most likely time for birds to be mating in England.
Before Chaucer there is no record of a tradition that celebrates valentine day or associates any romantic value with the day. The speculative explanation of sentimental customs, posing as historical fact, was explained in notably Alban Butler, the author of Butler’s Lives of Saints in the eighteenth-century, and have been perpetuated even by respectable modern scholars. They have all uncritically agreed that: Valentine’s Day customs is a continuation of those of the Roman Lupercalia heathen celebration.
In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia, observed February 13 through 15, was an archaic rite connected to fertility. Lupercalia was a festival local to the city of Rome. The more general Festival of Juno Februa, meaning “Juno the purifier” or “the chaste Juno”, was celebrated on February 13-14. Pope Gelasius I (492-496) abolished Lupercalia. While it is a common opinion that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to christianize celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia.
The festival begun in a sacred grove, where, priests of the god Lupercus (although there seems to be debate as to which god, exactly, was honored), clothed in goat skins, sacrificed goats and young dogs, both selected because of their “strong sexual instincts.” After the sacrifice, two nude, male youths were led to the altar to have their foreheads blessed with the blood and milk of the victims. Next came a feast with the aforementioned drinking and then the young men clothed themselves in the skins of the sacrificial animals and cut thongs from them. They then ran through the streets flagellating (whipping in a sexual manner) all who came near. Young women and matrons were encouraged to offer their bare backs up for a flogging in order to ensure their fertility.
That is what we celebrate today, heathen fertility festival… and we honor it by buying fluffy soft idols and cult objects (the whipping may occur later on during the night!).
And hence the Roman Catholic Church, stated in 1969 that: “Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.” And accordingly removed February 14 from the General Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints.
Now what baffles me, is how is it possible for us, the so educated and enlightened to fall for such cheap marketing stunt? Our wonderfully capitalistic society coupled with the corporate swines, have used this pagan festival during which, gifts, flowers and chocolate sales skyrocket, to con us into buying/consuming more useless stuff, and that is why they love this holiday. Thats what Valentine day stands for: How much the rich love their money, and how much the consumer love buying…
Thats the only love that seems to be going around, masked with sentimental looks and whispered voices that can make the world collectively vomit.
The only explanation for this is that: Saint Valentine works for Hallmark.
So go ahead celebrate, buy your gift and receive your useless gift with dignity, only to throw it in the garbage less than one year from now, and wait for your new Valentine!
I’m supposed to wish you a happy “….” day, but after this article, I don’t have the heart to call it Valentine knowing that it is not, on the other hand the option of calling it what it is (Lupercalia) seems a little obscene… so I’ll choose to end the post with:
Happy Whatever day!