Though it is not declared as a special non-working holiday, this day seemed to be, people are very busy even a day before to buy gifts and greeting cards for their spouse and partner. Hotels and Restaurants are at its peak on this season and fully booked. Amusement parks and malls were loaded with teenagers that in despite of their young age, it seems that their heart is fully conscious of showing love and caress to their partners.
Valentine’s Day would not be completed without Cupid, the God of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. Most recognized for his vow and arrow that is said to be the source of his power. It is said in Roman mythology that a person or a deity who is shot by his arrow will be filled with uncontrollable desires with the next person he meet. The iconography of Cupid as a symbol of Valentine’s Day can be seen in all the greeting cards and stuffs related to the celebration.
In ancient Rome, a festival that was observed annually every February 13 to 14 which is called Lupercalia, it is said to be the origin of the celebration of the month of love and romance. The feast is believed to avert evil spirits and purify the city, to promote fertility and ward off disasters.
According to Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Romans were drunk and naked. Young women line up for the men to have sex with them which they believed this would make them fertile. Also a matchmaking lottery in which young men drew the names of women from a jar to form a couple that would last for the whole duration of the festival or longer if the match is right.
During the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I conglomerated St. Valentine’s Day and Lupercalia to exorcise the pagan ritual. Ever since the holiday grew sweeter and gained its popularity in the Western countries and to the whole world. The celebration nowadays was so commercialized like other celebration such as Christmas and New Year. But the transformation of the celebration from being barbaric ritual to a gentle and sophisticated festival of love is a proof that our society nowadays have leveled up from its ancient past.