Some of you may have noticed the nicknames we're giving to each month, but some of you may not have, so I thought I'd take a moment to mention them. It was just one of the ways we decided to spice up our site, and they debuted with the new look. So far, we've had Paranormal October, Noble November, Decalescent December, Jacuzzi January and now we begin Fiery February.
February seems to be the month that focuses on love, which makes sense when you take Valentine's Day into account.
But what is Valentine's Day?
Originally, it started out as St. Valentine's Day and was a feast to honor a religious figure by the name of Valentine who was martyred on February 14th. In none of the historical recordings has there ever been any romantic link between any St. Valentine (there were a few) and love until the time of Chaucer (classic author from the 1300s). There is one suggestion that seems to be promoted by the history channel even though there isn't a lot of evidence to back this up - Valentine was a priest who opposed the "no marriage" rule of the Roman Emperor Claudius II and secretly performed marriages. As a consequence, it is said that Valentine was martyred for this treasonous act.
However, in Ancient Rome, Lupercalia was observed from February 13th to February 15th. Lupercalia was an archaic rite, possibly from pre-Roman times, to purify the city of evil or avert it altogether and promote good health and fertility.
So, perhaps Claudius II had Valentine killed during the observance of Lupercalia to "hurt" or "undo" the marriages that the priest committed and thus destroy the significance of the observance.
It's also possible that the Roman Catholic Church picked the February 14th date in an effort to convert pagan followers to Christianity and thus bury the original significance of the date.
Because it seems that there had never been any correlation between St. Valentine's Day and romantic love, many tend to believe that people had misinterpreted a poem that Chaucer wrote as well as the time of the year. He mentions a "seynt Volantynys" day, but he just as easily could have been referring to the day for Valentine of Genoa which is in May.
So, what do you think is the right answer, or does it matter? Have we truly lost what it means? Do you prefer our modern day version? What would you like to do to celebrate the day?