Happy Valentine’s Day – Part Two
I think that it’s a nice idea for Wiccans to celebrate the season of love. Because Valentine’s Day goes far back before the Modern Christian ‘official’ holiday. This is the second of two installments on this topic. If you want the older history, check out last week’s post.
Today we’re starting in the Middle Ages.
After the fifth and sixth century documentation of St. Valentine’s story was circulated, the Christian association with love in February usurped the Pagan approach. Although we all know that the end goal is the same… Happy babies birthing before winter 🙂
Valentine’s Day’s association with romantic love grew larger in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when a tradition of courtly love flourished. By the fifteenth century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending hand written greetings. Valentine’s Day symbols included the heart-shaped outline, turtle doves, and the cute chubby little figure of the winged Cupid. Cupid, of course, hails back to the Roman Fertility festival!!! Cupid was the son of the Roman love Goddess, Venus and the Roman God of war, Mars. (His Greek counterpart was known as “Eros.) So it’s all good!
Since the nineteenth century and the popularity of the printing press, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards. The first chocolate candies (as we know them today) were invented in the 1860s by Cadbury, who was also the first to market them in a heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day during that same decade.
So be a Good Wiccan and go ahead and celebrate the holiday season of Love to the fullest extent. Put on some Courvoisier and let the good times roll!