Well everyone, Valentine’s Day is upon us. I don’t know if everyone reading this knows, but it is not a “Hallmark Holiday”. Originally it was St. Valentine’s Feast Day. St. Valentine was martyred in the Middle Ages by Claudius II for marrying Christians in 270 A.D. This was a time when Christians were still being eaten by lions (ouch). St. Valentine was also known for his miracles. He would go from doorstep to doorstep delivering small pictures of local heroes of the time with small emotings on them. Each person would recieve a small picture of… for example, Jusseff Montana (famous gladiator of the time) saying something like “Throwing a pass at you”. (Historical sidenote, Jusseff Montana was famous for decapitating his victims and throwing their heads into the audience).
Other traditions include the small candy hearts. Now, due to the lack of high fructose corn syrup in that time, Saint Valentine used the actual freshly removed, beating hearts of small mammals. Using only the finest of inks, would write “Be mine” or “Pray for me”, on the hearts. Christians of the time knew they were loved by those simple hearts.
Now, one must ask, where does Cupid come into the picture. Like Santa with his elves, Saint Valentine cannot do all these things in one night. He has enlists several pagan gods every year. Some of these gods include Ishtar, Freya, Radha, Xochipilli, and of course, Cupid. Some of the gods spend their time delivering flowers, jewelry, and cards. Most use their magical powers to make the whining of single people all the louder, making those in actual relationships feel better about themselves all the more, Freya in particular.
I hope that I have been able to clear up any mystery out there about our beloved holiday. I hope you and yours have a good one. I plan on spending my Saturday night at the Cornservatory… and so should you.