Spirituality

The Dark Side of Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day

The Dark Side of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day as we know it is barely over 100 years old. In 1913, Hallmark Cards, the greeting card company based in Kansas City, Missouri, commercialized the day by mass-producing greeting cards marking the occasion.

However the real history of St. Valentine’s Day, though, is quite dark and somewhat ominous. While everyone may be enjoying their chocolate and flowers this year, I thought it might be fun (and creepy) to share this darker sider of Valentine’s Day…

While historians are not completely sure, it is widely believed that the history of Valentine’s Day goes back to the third century A.D. when Roman Emperor Claudius II executed two men; both named Valentine, on February 14, each during a different year. Years later, the Catholic Church then honored their deaths with the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day.

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The Original Roman Celebration

Over the dates February 13-15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, an annual festival in the month of February that was celebrated to avert evil spirits and purify the city thus releasing health and fertility. A goat and a dog were each sacrificed then skinned and their hides were used to whip women.

The goat symbolized fertility and the dog was for purification. The skinned hide of the goat was dipped into the sacrificial blood then was used to gently slap women in the streets. Roman women welcomed this because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year.

At the end of the day, following the lashings, all of the young women in the city would place their names into a large urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriages.

Area crops were also lashed with the goat hide to ensure a greater yield in the coming yearly harvest.

Then in the fifth century, Roman Pope Gelasius I combined St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia in an effort to expel the pagan rituals.

Valentine’s Day Massacre

Today, Valentine’s Day brings in approximately $18 billion dollars per year in sales.

Another quite dark event is linked to this gushy heart-filled holiday: The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

During the late 1920’s, mob warfare ruled the streets of Chicago when well-known reputed gangster Al Capone worked to gain control of the city by eliminating his rivals in the illegal trades of bootlegging, gambling and prostitution. This wave of gang violence reached a bloody high point in a garage on the city’s north side on February 14, 1929, when seven men associated with the Irish gangster George “Bugs” Moran, one of Capone’s longtime enemies, were shot to death by several men dressed as policemen.

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, as it was known, remains an unsolved crime to this day and was never officially linked to Capone, but he was generally considered to have been responsible for the murders.

So, it’s not always roses and truffles! But hopefully you haven’t been too put off by this exploration of the darker sider of this usually sweeter than sweet day.

Considering getting a psychic reading? We have carefully screened and selected a range of gifted, compassionate psychic readers to provide clarity and new insights into your life. Online psychics available 24/7.

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