History of Valentines Day - Festival of Hot Wolves , From Roman till Present

In Roman times priests and certain soldiers were  known as wolfmen because they protected their herds from wolves.  The wolfmen known as Luperci created a festival to honor Juno who was the queen of the Roman Goddesses and herself known as the Goddess of Marriage and Fertility.  The festival became known as Lupercalia.  Lupercalia was created to purge the city of evil dieties by sharing burnt offerings and sacrified goats and dogs.  Participants made loin clothes from the skins of sacrificed animals and then flogged the single females with the loin clothes as a ritual of fertility. The drunken Romans played an ancient version of spin the bottle with the single naked ladies by drawing names out of vessels and the man would then mate with the lady whose name he drew until the end of the festival or for a period of one year and if that worked the couple would become and remain married.  The feverish nature of the festival held around February 13 - 15th gave rise to the name of the month February.  (month of fever) It could be said that February was named after a Roman religious orgy of sorts.  
Eventually Emperor Claudius 2nd was in charge and mandated that single men were to be soldiers. Valentino the Priest was ordered not to perform marriage cereomnies for single men as Commander Claudius wanted to use them as soldiers instead.  Valentino defied and hance was put to death around 270AD.  The Catholic church viewed this as an act of courage and declared February 14th as Saint Valentine's Day.  Pope Galasius merged the festival of hot wolves (Lupercalia) and Saint Valentine's Day in the 5th century.  The Normans subsequently merged their day of love "Galatines Day" with Valentines Day.  Shakespeare popularized and promoted the holiday and finally Hallmark took over in 1913 making it the 2nd largest card holiday in the world.


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