In this pandemic year, amorous propensities may not be running high, and the ability to deliver romantic tchotkes is diminished. But I think Valentine’s Day is sweet. The world could always use more love.
I’d like to dedicate this heart-on-a-light-box to my sweetheart, Phyllis.
Valentine’s Day is something of an ersatz holiday, with made-to-order Hallmark cards, chocolate, and roses. The historical origins are murky, to say the least: there were several martyrs named “Valentine” slaughtered by Roman authorities that the Catholic church elevated to sainthood. Also Roman: the festival of Lupercalia, roughly February 13 – February 15. This extended party involved animal sacrifice, drinking, sex, and flagellation. Pretty far from today’s canonical ‘Hallmark’ holiday!
In the 5th Century A.D., Pope Gelasius I probably laid the foundations for the modern holiday by combining commemoration for the martyrs (St. Valentine’s Day) with the old pagan holiday of Lupercalia.
To Hades with historical origins! Let’s love each other, and enjoy Valentine’s Day!