This Tuesday, which much of the world will call Valentine’s Day, I will strive to do the most romantic thing I can do for my wife: Provide her with a God-fearing husband who does not observe Valentine’s Day. 🙂
The origins of Valentine’s Day are very clearly pagan and pre-Christian. Research into the details of where it came from can take you all sorts of places (some very yucky places, frankly), but standing out among them is Lupercalia, a pagan fertility ritual celebrated in February that involved, among other things, animal sacrifices (goats and dogs, apparently) and whipping women with strips made from the animals’ bloody flesh. Yes, I wish I was kidding.
If you want to just dip your toes a wee bit into the origins of Valentine’s Day, the History channel website is making it easy, with an interactive graphic (I’m not sure why a graphic that doesn’t do anything but sit there is called “interactive,” but there you go) and a video that shows a painting (apparently by Jon Foster) of a fellow looking delightfully popish presiding over a sacrifice-the-critter-and-hit-the-ladies-with-carcass-straps ceremony. (Full disclosure: The History channel video also shows old “classic” paintings with naked people. What is it with “classic” artists and naked people?)
So, no pagan, hit-your-woman-with-bloody-animal-parts, Lupercalia-warmed-over, Jeremiah 10:2 (et al.)-violating Valentine’s Day for me, thanks!
As for my Beautiful Wife (who feels the same way I do about February 14): Good thing for her that I’m a super-romantic fellow 24/7 & 365, am I right? And so modest, to boot! 🙂