Valentine’s Day, or at least its origins, has been a long debated topic for a while now. There is no clear-cut documentation stating that the 14th of Feb shall here forth be declared the day of love, no questions asked. Valentine’s traditions as we know them are filled with lavish dinners for two, flowers, chocolates and cute cuddly stuffed animals. But, did you know the origins of the day of love are a little darker than the light-hearted, fluffy holiday we celebrate now? Read on below for a few, blow-by-blow accounts on how Valentine’s Day has been celebrated through the ages.
Meanwhile, Back In The Roman Empire…
During the age of the Roman Empire, the time frame that Valentines Day falls on now used to be quite a different celebration indeed. From the 13th to the 15th of February, the Romans would celebrate the festival of Lupercalia. In this pagan festival, the guys would hit on the girls by quite literally hitting them. You see, this festival saw the young men of Rome strip naked and give an animal sacrifice to the Gods above. They would then take a whip and beat the young women of the village in hopes of making them more fertile. Whilst this may sound barbaric to the feminist movement of today, young woman would actually line up, hoping for their bodies to be blessed with virtue through this questionable practice. The next time you want to complain about where your date takes you for Valentine’s dinner, count your lucky stars he isn’t taking you down to the town Lupercalia fest.
The Love Struck Bard
As time passed, so the holiday became sweeter, thanks to the likes of literature from Chaucer and Shakespeare. The men romanticized love, and as such, the holiday became more PG than the Roman fertility festival. During the middle ages, Valentine’s Day gained mass popularity through Britain and most of Europe, and was celebrated by gifting your loved one with a hand made card.
Valentines Day As We Know IT
It was only in the 19th century that the holiday began to spread to the new world, with the industrial revolution issuing factory-produced card in mass. 1913 marks the first ever batch of iconic Hallmark Valentine’s Day cards being dispatched in Kansas City, and the rest is history. If you were planning on going all out for your love this Valentine’s Day, why not avoid stripping down to make an animal sacrifice and whipping her into fertility? Rumour has it that both men and woman of today appreciate simpler, less barbaric tokens of love. Ladies, why not help your gent look dapper this Valentine’s by gifting him with an amazing blazer? And gentlemen why not help your lady feel lovely with a beautiful dress? Take a look at the great range of items available for you and your other half at Clothing Direct, and give the gift that will keep on giving this Valentine’s Day!