Before it was made into a commercial holiday meant to sell cards, flowers, jewelry and chocolates Valentine's Day was a festival celebrating fertility and health celebrated by the Romans. It wasn't even called Valentine's Day. It was called Lupercalia (wolf festival). It was given such a name because it was partly to celebrate the birth of Romulus and Remus (founders of Rome) and legend has it the twins were suckled by a she wolf.
Plutarch wrote this about the festival:Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery, and the barren to pregnancy.
Chaucer's work Parlement of Foules.
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.
Sounds a little like the original Roman holiday doesn't it? How it completely became about lovers is unknown. Many scholars think it has something to do with poets who needed a monetary outlet for their creative talents. They would charge people to write verse to go inside cards destined for their lovers and potential mates.
1784? I didn't know it was nearly that old. By the way, we always said sugar...not honey. =)
For more interesting facts check out the blog post later today. And if you read this whole post..You deserve a piece of candy!!