Happy Valentine’s or should I say Lupercalia Day! Even when young, madly handing out those cardboard valentines to my classmates in kindergarten, I never heard much or even cared much about the origins of Valentine’s Day. I don’t remember any teachers talking about it, certainly no bulletin board presentations on it, other than to display our heart artwork such as they were.
Even as I thought about it this morning, the first thought in my head was that Hallmark came up with it as a way to move a ton more cards than ever before and bring the florists and candy industry along with them. Just a scoosh cynical? Perhaps. Maybe I need Stella to write this…
Then I started to look into the history. Some of it involved St. Valentine (did you know there were 3) and Roman Emperor Claudius who had a disagreement over which made better soldiers, unmarried young men or married men, with Claudius coming down resoundingly on the unmarried side. Which put St. Valentine on the other (never a good thing with emperors, remember there is a reason he’s called a saint). Claudius outlawed young soldiers getting married, Valentine continued to marry them…which saw him to an early grave and sainthood. Going further down the timeline, there’s the celebration of Lupercalia, dedicated to Faunus, Roman god of agriculture and yep, fertility. That’s the handsome fellow at the top. It involved sacrificing goats and dogs (purity), skinning the goats, cutting the hides into strips and then dipping them into blood. Young maidens would then be flicked, flogged, whipped (depends on the history you read) with the hides, a practice that all believed would make the women more fertile. Young unmarried men picked the names of the maidens out of a urn, and spent the night together or maybe all together. Those fertility things got a little crazy.
I loved that the articles said the women welcomed it. Really? Show me the articles. Or did they just put up with it because they had to, culturally speaking. Why even go there in a article? Sorry, back to Valentine’s Day again…
Anyhow, all that stuff was declared un Christian and done away with at least on the surface and somehow we arrive at 1400 with rosy feelings intact. The first valentine we know about was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife (number one) while he was jailed in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. Charles spent 24 years as a hostage and became a renown poet during that time, including writing the first valentine. Not bad. Despite being imprisoned for 24 years (in very posh digs I might add) he was married 3 times.
1900 saw the first printed Valentine’s Day cards and the holiday has never looked back. Here are a few Valentine’s Day statistics for you:
- Over 1 billion cards worldwide are sent today.
- Next to cards, are flowers and chocolates.
- In addition to the U.S., Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Italy and Japan.
- Winner of Chase Potter’s The Music of the Sphere’s ebook is Carolyn.
- Winner of Christian Baines’ Puppet Boy is H.B.
- Winner of Joe Cosentino’s giveaway for a book from his backlist is Ree Dee.
Congratulations to all three. They have been notified.
This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day)
- Looking for A Valentine’s Day Story? Check out ‘Love At Roades End’ by Kris T. Bethke (author guest post)
- Mia Kerick’s ‘The Art of Hero Worship’ release day book blast and giveaway
- Its Valentine’s Day and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Monday, February 15:
- Chris T. Kat’s ‘Mending the Rift’ cover reveal and giveaway
- Dreamspinner Press Author Spotlight: Dormant Heart by Lane Swift (guest post)
- Voss Porter’s ‘The Wrong Kind of Woman’ cover reveal and giveaway
- A VVivacious Review: Mute Witness by Rick R. Reed
- A Lila Review: Pretty Human by Kayleigh Skye
Tuesday, February 16:
- In the Spotlight: Brad Vance ‘Strength In Numbers’ (excerpt and giveaway)
- Need a New Romance to Love? Check Out Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert (excerpt and giveaway)
- Its Love and Kink Time with Morticia Knight ‘Bondage Rescue (excerpt/giveaway)
- A Stella Review: Strong Side by Alison Hendricks
- A MelanieM Review: Sharing the Pond by Alex Whitehall
Wednesday, February 17:
- Dreamspinner Press Author Tour: Conversation Hearts by Avon Gale (guest post)
- Grein Murray ‘Capturing Oliver’ book blast and giveaway
- Michele Michael Rakes ‘Trainwreck’ Keep Me In Mind tour and contest
- A Ali Review: Spirit by John Inman (audio version)
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: James Eyre by Jade Astor
Thursday, February 18:
- In the Author Spotlight: Melanie Hansen on Writing and Love and the Exocism (guest post)
- Love Science Fiction and Romance? Check out Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen (excerpt and giveaway)
- Bailey Bradford ‘Dragon Dreams & Fairy Wings’ book blast and giveaway
- A Lila Review: Love and the Exorcism by Melanie Hansen
- A MelanieM Review: Acts of Passion By Sedonia Guillone
Friday, February 19:
- How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay, #12) by Jaime Samms Riptide Tour and Contest
- The Way You Look Tonight by Jo Tannah guest post and contest
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay, #12) by Jaime Samms
- A Lila Review: Fantasy For a Gentleman by Caitlin Ricci
- A Stella Review: Patchwork by Indra Vaughn
Saturday, February 20:
- In the Spotlight: Love Unlocked: A Beaten Track Anthology’ (giveaway and excerpts)
- A Sammy Review: Cronin’s Key III by NR Walker