January 31, 2011 | robertsone
When we think of Valentine's Day, we often think of red roses, candy in heart-shaped boxes, mushy valentines, and winged cherubs flying about shooting starry-eyed lovers with arrows.
But did you know that the origin of Valentine's Day, or Saint Valentine's Day, comes from the life and death of a Christian martyr? According to author Martha Zimmerman, the date traditionally celebrated as St. Valentine's Day finds it origin in the Roman festival of romance called Lupercalia, when the gods Juno and Pan were honored. It was a fertility festival or a lover's holiday looking forward to the return of Spring. In the fifth century, in an attempt to abolish the pagan festival, Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia and its February 15 date to February 14 and called it Saint Valentine's Day. Even though the names and the date were changed, the emphasis continued to be on love.
Pick up a juicy romance novel to get you in the Valentine's Day mood!