Saint Valentine Day Chocolate #1253


The hidden truth about St Valentine’s Day.

Facts of legends and history and told tales

The beginning of Valentine's Day most likely started with the death of one of the three Saint Valentines that the Catholic Church recognizes.

One story tells that Saint Valentinus performed marriages for young lovers in secret against the wishes of Emperor Claudius II, who believed that single men made better soldiers than married ones. You could lose your head during this period if you crossed the Emperor.

Another Saint Valentine was put in jail for helping Christians escape jails of torture. It is believed that this Saint fell in love while imprisoned and sent a letter to his beloved signed “From your Valentine” before he was beheaded.

Perhaps the most interesting history is the Fertility Feast of Lupercal, for the Roman god of agriculture, Faunus. A feast that included a ritual sacrifice of dogs for purification and goats for fertility.

Strips of hide were then cut, soaked in blood, also called thongs, made of the newly sacrificed goat.

The hides were symbolically slapped on the crops, and the thongs were used by nearly naked men, lightly whipping any woman they could with the thongs. According to legend, the women welcomed the touch of the thong, believing that fertility was heightened.

It was not unusual, after the festivities, for newly joined couples to fall in love and get married. Over time, the men became clothed, and the women were whipped on their hands, which sounds weirder than the previous way.

Letters and bloody thongs have been replaced over the thousand and a half years with cards, flowers, and chocolate.

And I expect the fertility thing is pretty diminished in the minds of the giver and receiver. In many places and cultures, finding a mate is not the focus of February 14th. Instead, it is about showing care for friends around us.

In my small world, it is all about chocolate. Giving and tasting new chocolate, whether it be bars of inspiration or cocoa in its purest form, St. Valentine's Day is all about chocolate.

What started as a thought about how chocolate and Valentine's Day evolved into how strange the origins are for the day.

The origins of the death of Saint Valentine bring us marriage, the expression of love, chocolate, and flowers.

Happy Valentine's Day!