This Is How The Dark Origins Of Valentine’s Day Are Twisted And Have Nothing To Do With Romance

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Valentine’s Day is the ultimate day of love. Stores are filled with pink, red, chocolate, teddy bears and hallmark cards. The expectation is to go above and beyond to celebrate the love you share for your partner and re-ignite the romance between you. It all seems innocent and joyful.

Except this wasn’t how the day always was. There was a time when ‘valentine’s day ” or its equivalent was full of questionable events that were actually quite dark and twisted. Here is the origin of the holiday. Read at your own risk as it might make you think twice about wanting to partake!

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The Pagan Festival

black and white photo of young girl holding flowers

Social History Archive / Unsplash

Social History Archive / Unsplash

The first origins of Valentine’s day date all the way back to the ancient Pagan Festival also known as Lupercalia. The festival goes back to pre-Romans, and took place from Feb. 13 to Feb 15 right around the same time we celebrate it today. What happened at the festival is quite disturbing.

Basically, they sacrificed a goat and a dog, and then used them to whip women. This was consensual and women lined up for it because they all believed that it would make them fertile. There was a lot of drinking and nudity, but it was all in the name of making healthy babies. This tradition actually lasted for 150 years until Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire.

The MatchMaking Lottery

lottery numbers spinning

Dylan Nolte / Unsplash

Dylan Nolte / Unsplash

The pagan festival didn’t stop there. During the three-day festivities, the young men and women would also partake in a matchmaking lottery, in which men would draw women’s names from a jar. Based on these names, they would “couple up” with their chosen ones during the entire festival.

They even had the option to stay together longer if they were satisfied with their match. It’s like Tinder but without the swiping and you’re stuck together for three days even if you decide you’re not into them within the first three minutes.

Saint Valentine’s Story

ancient rome with statues

Sten Ritterfeld / Unsplash

Sten Ritterfeld / Unsplash

Soon after the Pagan festival was no more and Romans started to invest in Religion, historians believe that two saints named Valentine were the inspiration behind the holiday as we know it today, or at least closer to. There is a possibility that they’re also the same person.

As the story goes, one of the Valentines was being prosecuted by the emperor Claudius II Gothicus because he refused to worship the Roman gods. While in prison, he signed a letter that said “from your Valentine” to a woman he’s supposedly healed from blindness. It’s possible that people were so inspired by his kind nature that they named the holiday after him.

No Love To Lose

cupid statue with arrow

Gigi Btsa / Unsplash

Gigi Btsa / Unsplash

Then there was the other Valentine, a priest named St. Valentine of Terni. At the time emperor Gothicus banned young men from getting married because he believed that unmarried men made better soldiers. If they didn’t love anyone or have anything to hold on to, they would have nothing to lose and give their all in battles.

St. Valentine went against the emperor’s orders anyway and secretly married many couples. He was arrested and made to pay for his crimes on February 14 around 269 AD. Since then his death became remembered as a day of love.

Shakespeare’s Popularity

William Shakespeare books

Max Muselmann / Unsplash

Max Muselmann / Unsplash

As the years went on, the holiday finally started to get a more pleasant feel. Shakespeare romanticized it in his work, and due to the popularity of his work, it started to make its rounds around Britain and the rest of Europe. It started to become romantic and people in the Middle Ages even started to make handmade paper cards.

The tradition didn’t die and lasted all the way until our New World. The industrial revolution started to make cards in factors around the 19th century. From there in 1913, Hallmark Cards started their mass production of the very same valentines cards we can find in store now.

A Billion Dollar Business

man kisses woman on the cheek

Rodane Productions / Unsplash

Rodane Productions / Unsplash

Today Valentine’s Day is masked as a day of love but really it runs a billion-dollar business. There is a lot of pressure and responsibility on people to show their love by consuming. The National Retail Federation estimates that US consumers $27.4 billion for this holiday alone. This is spent on anything between greeting cards, chocolate, fancy dinners, expensive jewelry.. you name it.

Today, the holiday is big business. Single people feel left out and try to make themselves feel better by partaking in the consumption anyway too.

A Day Of Performance

man and woman have wine in poloraid

Polina Tankilevitch / Pexels

Polina Tankilevitch / Pexels

Helen Fisher, a sociologist at Rutgers University, says we that we can only blame ourselves for the pressure that we have put on ourselves. We feel like we’re expected to perform a certain way, and even ur expectations aren’t necessarily our own but are told to us.

“This isn’t a command performance,” she says. “If people didn’t want to buy Hallmark cards, they would not be bought, and Hallmark would go out of business.” Love should be celebrated every day not once a year. Couples shouldn’t pretend that love can be bought. While celebrating love is a great idea, it should be the result of daily effort and passion and not come down to just one day.

Love Is Frustrating

man and woman kiss on bed

Anna Tarazevich / Pexels

Anna Tarazevich / Pexels

We don’t blame you for being frustrated with dating and wanting to stick with what’s comfortable but if you’re struggling to find and keep a quality man click hereto find out how to break the cycle. Love is more than just kisses and butterflies, it’s much more than that. If you want to know more on what your birth chart reveals about how you love and what you need out of a partner, check out this personalized report based on date of birth.

For more great relationship advice and tips on how to attain the kind of love you deserve, watch this video from expert, Amy North: Click Here To Watch The Full Video.

Higher Perspectives Author

Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives