Are you experiencing pink and red before the eyes or seeing hearts and flowers at every turn?
Then I have the perfect remedy. For you could be suffering from an advanced case of acute Valentine’s Day syndrome and what in need of a dose of 'Lupercalia', guaranteed to restore a bit of fun and vitality and pep up your February 14th.
We are all too aware that as a commercial event Valentine’s Day is now second to Christmas with estimates suggesting that over 1 billion cards will be bought and sent. Add on flowers, chocolates, jewellery, heart shaped frippery, food and alcohol and you're talking a modern day merchandising megafest.
So let me take you back to the days of early Rome to where it all began and to the festival of Lupercalia. A ritual of purification and fertility culminating on the Palatine Hill where Vestal virgins bearing freshly baked sacred cakes would assist naked young men in the sacrifice a dog and a goat before smearing their foreheads with the blood and donning loincloths made from the skin of the goat. Then carrying strips of goat hide the young men would make their way round the city lightly striking the bottoms of young women to protect them from curses, bad luck and infertility.
The choice is yours, dear reader, this Valentine’s Day. A sedate trip to buy flowers, a card and chocolates or a Lupercalia style dash up the High Street and around the shopping mall with quivering buttocks, freshly baked buns, loincloths and strips of goatskin at the ready?
The choice is yours, but whatever you choose please be aware of the consequences!
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Image Credit » Photographs Copyright 2015 by Antony J Waller