Valentine’s Day or Lupercalia?


photo by Lydia Wiggins

For the love of cupid! After explaining the many Pagan rituals to junior Emma Jackson she said, “I can’t believe more people don’t know where Valentine’s Day actually comes from!”

by Lydia Wiggins, Reporter

Have you been celebrating a Pagan holiday this whole time and you haven’t known? The history of Valentine’s Day and the variations of stories that follow can often be categorized as a tragedy, not a rom-com. And if you didn’t know that, it’s time to start asking yourself some questions. Who is the real Saint Valentine, and why do you celebrate him?

According to an article on, the Pagan holiday you may be worrying about was originated in Rome, where the men would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.

But there’s more, the men would cut the goat hide into strips, dip them in the sacrificial blood, and then take them to the streets to gently ‘slap’ the women and crop fields to make them more fertile.

And if you didn’t think that was weird, they also had a matchmaking lottery. Where the men would draw names of women in the village and they would be coupled up for the remainder of the holiday or longer if the match was right.

To get more insight on the subject, I went to one of Meridians history teachers, Mr.Kershner, and he said, “Its kind of become more of a commercialized holiday, and its origin is kind of outdated which not many people know.” While it is the holiday of love, candy companies rack up a total of $18.2 billion according to an article on ABC News.

“I think how Valentine’s Day really changed recently has to do with William Shakespeare and other authors who wrote a lot about romance, and I think that’s where the modern idea of this day of love comes from,” claims Kershner.