Are you tired of seeing pink and red and all things heart shaped, buying roses at inflated prices, consuming huge quantities of chocolate, quaffing champagne and feeling queasy, receiving a sack full of cards from lovers all with no name or dropping on one knee and suffering from dizziness?
If the answer is ‘yes’, you could be suffering from an advanced case of acute cynical Valentine’s Day syndrome. I have the perfect remedy. You need a dose of Lupercalia. Guaranteed to restore a bit of fun and vitality to your life on the 14th. Want to know more then please read on:-
Commercialisation of Valentine’s Day has gone through the roof. Estimates say over 1 billion cards will be bought and sent making it the second most card heavy occasion after Christmas. As for flowers, chocolates, jewellery, heart shaped frippery and now alcohol; well that’s anyone’s guess.
So back to the days of early Rome, to where it all began, and to the festival of Lupercalia, a ritual of purification and fertility, celebrated between the 13th and 15th of February. On top of the Palatine Hill Vestal virgins with freshly baked sacred cakes would help two naked young men sacrifice a dog and a goat, smear their foreheads with the blood, and then see them don loincloths made from the skin of the goat. Armed with strips of goat hide the young men would make their way round the city lightly striking the bottoms of young women to improve their fertility. This supposedly expurgated the recipient from curses, bad luck and infertility.
Now you have to choose. What’s it to be? A Valentine’s Day trip down the high street or shopping mall to buy a card and chocolates, or a quick Lupercalia sprint, with or without loincloth, looking for young ladies bottoms to strike with strips of goatskin. I’ll let you decide and leave the possible consequences to your imagination!