'Tis the season to be jolly at Christmas. It would seem right after the thrill of xmas, the season changes a bit, and we all remind ourselves that listening to Celine Dion for two months wasn't such a good idea. Especially in the cold of winter. So god, in his infinite wisdom, gave us... Valentine's Day to remind us all that we need to reproduce. Preferably in the sewers. Anyhow, I digress.
Just WHAT is Valentine's Day anyway? Just another horny day to procreate... involving chocolate? Hrm, maybe... Let's take a look. Shall we? I say we use HISTORY.COM for some advice. Read this for fun and pleasure (the "ribbing" in the following passage has been added for her pleasure):
THE ORIGINAL BRUTAL ROMAN -MIKE VICK- WOLF AND DOG SHOW VERSION OF VALENTINES DAY -not recommended for children or republicans... or FIDO for that matter
To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, which occured in mid february, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa (an old white wolf would be called lu dobbs). The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification (just in case the god on CQ duty couldn't tell the difference).
The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips (cowhide leather was reserved for the priests). Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city's bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman (then ABC Network optioned it for a 10 episode deal). These matches often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D. The Roman 'lottery' system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed (chiefly because it allowed mixing of different ethnicities). Later, during the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February — Valentine's Day — should be a day for romance (and egg laying). The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London (is that a tower in your pants?) following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting, which was written in 1415, is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England. Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois. (NOT Viagra). The poem reads as follows:
Violets hath blue,
and Roses hath red.
If thou won't dropest thine trousers,
I'll cuttest off thine head.
In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. (or just give up and hand someone a fish wrapped in a newspaper) By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. (this non emotive event is still encouraged by a company called HALLMARK) Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in America.
According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.)
Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women. (The rest are purchased by male 'Theater Majors') In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. -And when the rest of the world can find time, normally not cranking out the cards that will be packaged and sent to aforementioned countries, they participate in the fake holiday event as well.
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400) -after MS issued the very popular MICROSOFT ISLAM with Word For Muslims, and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. (It is displayed with native English food that one would not really wish to eat) The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap".
What did we learn? The catholics took a completely good festival of goat and wolf killing and turned it into an unemotional piece of paper day laced with chocolate. I don't know about you, but I am going to sue the vatican right now.
Can you imagine if the catholics had not stole this festival? Hallmark could be issuing dogs and goats for slaughter! Can you imagine the OJ knives that would go on sale this time of year? (Cuts through dogs like an EX wife).
Could get messy at the pound. 'Yes, I would like a large Beagle, 2 mini pins and a doberman, yes, I am expecting guests. Do you deliver?'
Let us purists, the real keepers of tradition, remember this. A dog and a goat are not just for Valentine's Day.
Uncle would like to thank FISTO for his additions and edit help with this story. I said.