The ugly origins of Valentine’s day

Roses? Check! Chocolates? Check! Table at restaurant? Check! Absolutely no money left in your bank account? Check! Before you start having a go at the price of sweets and flowers on the day of love, be grateful that that’s all you have to worry about. Why? Because there’s a dark side to the 14th of February we hope you never have to face…

Lupercalia – Lashings for fertility

For a start, let’s look at the origins of Valentine’s Day. Allegedly V-Day is based on an old Roman festival called Lupercalia. The Romans would sacrifice a goat and a dog, and then create whips from their hides. The men would then whip women as they believed it would make them fertile. And it doesn’t end there! Women also had to add their names to a bowl, where a man would pick one and have the woman as his companion for the duration of the festival (between 13 and 15 February). The ancient version of the Bachelorette show, perhaps?

Cybercrime – Falling victim to Valentine’s Day

If you ever get an email with “Be My Valentine” in the subject line, and it’s from an unknown email address, don’t open it. Hackers are sneaky and will prey on vulnerable Valentines. It’s also very easy to unknowingly spread malware/ viruses to your friends and family by sending them Valentine chain emails. If you get a cute rose picture on V-day, don’t open it, don’t share and DEFINITELY don’t click on any links!

Mob crime – Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929

From cybercrime to mob crime, this day has seen its fair share of blood. On V-day 1929, 7 men working for the Irish gangster George “Bugs” Moran, were shot dead in a garage. Two men, posing as police officers, shot the gang members using about 70 rounds of ammunition. Since then the incident has been known as the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.

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Happily ever after

To end this history-lesson on a bright note, we’d like to leave you with the origins of the most famous V-day poem of all. The exact origin of the Roses are Red poem isn’t quite clear, but the closest and most obvious connection can be found in a book of nursery rhymes called: Gammer Gurton’s Garland.

The rose is red, the violet’s blue,

The honey’s sweet, and so are you.

Thou are my love and I am thine;

I drew thee to my Valentine:

The lot was cast and then I drew,

And Fortune said it shou’d be you.

So, whether you spend this day by your lonesones, or in the arms of your lover, we hope you have a fantastic Valentine’s. And, if nothing else, this post gave you a bit of perspective.

Have a happy Valentine’s!

Sources:
http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day/history-of-valentines-day
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/13/valentines-day-bloody-history_n_4768652.html
http://www.britannica.com/topic/Lupercalia
http://www.history.com/topics/saint-valentines-day-massacre
http://www.livescience.com/3314-strangest-valentine-day-stories.html
http://thehackernews.com/2014/02/beware-cyber-criminals-may-spoil-your.html