Do you know how the consumerist celebration of heteronormative love known as Valentine’s Day came to be?
Apparently its origin is a little contended. There were several early Christian saints named Valentinus for whom it could have been named.
My personal favorite is one who was martyred, imprisoned for—among other things—performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. Sound like anything going on today? *coughgaymarriagecough*
There is also debate about whether or not the holiday was created to replace the pagan festival Lupercalia. Lupercalia was celebrated February 13–15 “to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility.”
(Fun fact: “Lupercalia subsumed Februa, an earlier-origin spring cleansing ritual held on the same date, which gives the month of February (Februarius) its name.”)
However, the fertility bit notwithstanding, it’s been said that Valentine’s Day was originally a day of feasting and Christian worship, and had no connection to Lupercalia. Apparently it wasn’t associated with romantic love until the fourteenth century, by Geoffrey Chaucer and friends. Is it possible that one guy and his bros were able to completely change the meaning and practice of a holiday? I’d like to try that sometime.
“[International Quirkyalone Day] is a celebration of romance, freedom and individuality. It celebrates true romance (as opposed to the fake versions presented to us in reality dating shows), independence, creativity, friendship, and all kinds of love–including love for yourself….
“If you are single, International Quirkyalone Day is a call to arms to celebrate the possibilities available to single people today. If you are partnered, IQD is a vital reminder to value yourself and develop your individuality even when in a couple.
“Quirkyalone Day is an invitation to create a great day for yourself, whatever that means to you (and your partner if you have one and choose to celebrate with him or her). It’s a day to celebrate the things you love to do alone and the things you love to do with your friends.”
(Header images from Wikipedia (public domain).)
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