... do like the Romans. Don your goat skin and get into the streets people. This is Valentines day's raunchy sister.
Lupercalia is an annual Roman fertility festival with Greek origins. Lupercalia comes from the Ancient Greek λύκος which means "wolf", so get your claws out and get ready for a different Valentines this year.
Maybe we shouldn't go as far as the Romans and sacrifice a dog and two goat. And maybe we shouldn't rip their skin into strips and go around whipping women with it. Even if it supposedly ensured the same women fertility.
But maybe we can use something from this raunchy festivity for the upcoming modern day Valentines celebrations. Instead of spending all our hard-earned cash (especially in these difficult financial times) on chocolate, flowers and cards we could try to get a bit more intimate with the ones we love.
For those without partners at this time of year, you might also be interested in knowing that Lupercalia was also a festival of purification. I personally think this is a good excuse for going to the Spa for a Roman steam bath and a massage.
For the crafters out there this might also be a good time to get into the idea of crafting with hides. This may very well be one of the oldest crafts known to humans. We all know the cavemen don't we. We know that they were mighty hunters and while they were out gathering sustenance for their families, their women sat at home minding the babies. I mean, I don't have a direct line to the cavemen, but I am sure someone must have. Otherwise how do we know this? My point is that we of course have no idea of the social structure of our pre-historic ancestors or who did what, in the hut. But it is pretty safe to assume that the idea of wearing animal hide is hundreds of thousands of years old. All of the oldest stone technologies included choppers, scrapers and pounders used among other for hidework. And this is why I think the Romans wore goat skin loincloths to signify an ancient ritual. Celebrating fertility (if not love) is I believe as ancient a ritual as wearing animal hide. But then again, I still don't have that direct phone line to Mrs and Mr Homo erectus so you are going to have to take my word for it. Happy hideworking and happy Lupercalia!