The Lupercian Festival

This story started in ancient Rome.

 

on February 15th

Every year on February 15th, as spring approached, the Romans paid tribute to the she-wolf who suckled Romulus and Remus and honoured the god of Nature and Fertility.

 

Lupercalia

At this festivity, called Lupercalia, young half-naked men ran around the Palatine Hill and Rome, and lashed young women with strips of skin from a slaughtered goat.

It was believed that this could induce fertility and reduce the pain of childbirth.

 

Festivity around of theme of Love

 Other rituals took place linked to Juno, the goddess of Women and Marriage. The stage had been set for a festivity around the theme of Love.

 The Lupercian festival was a celebration of sensual pleasure, a time to meet and court a prospective mate.

 

Gelase I

The Lupercian festival was one of the most famous of all Roman festivals.

The Christian popes long tried to eradicate this custom but it wasn?t until 495 AD that Pope Gelase I managed to ban the pagan ritual.

 

Celebration of Saint Valentine

He supplanted the Roman festivity with a church-approved celebration of Saint Valentine that was to take place the day before, on February 14th