Thoughts from Cuckoo HQ
14
Feb 18

Happy Valentine's Day from Cuckoo Events!

In celebration of everyone's "favourite" holiday, we're looking at the evolution of Valentine's Day from it's Pagan roots to the Hallmark-holiday we know today.

Valentine's Day gets a pretty bad write up, with some arguments more convincing than others. One oft-cited criticism is that it's over-commercialised nonsense designed to make people feel bad about themselves and spend more money. Then again, most holidays are like that. Except Halloween! Halloween is great. So maybe people are just afraid to get in touch with their softer-side?

In this blog, we're looking at the origins, arguments, and some of the most bizarre events held to celebrate it worldwide. 

So how did it all start?

Like most of the holidays we celebrate each year, the feast of St. Valentine was originally a Pagan holiday, adapted and renamed by Christians around the 5th Century. Before then, it was a good ol' fashioned Roman frat party by the name of Lupercalia. Animal sacrifices were used to make pelts to whip the women, and names were drawn from jars for matchmaking. If you're so inclined, you can read the details about the dark origins of Valentine's Day here, or watch this video. You'll be full of fun-facts to use as ice-breakers for awkward dates. You're welcome. 

St. Valentine, International Man of Mystery

After a while, Pope Gelasius I decided it was 'down with that sort of thing.'  He conflated Lupercalia with the feast of St. Valentine in the hope of eradicating those pesky Pagan traditions. Well, the feast of one of the Valentines at least. There are actually several different martyrs named St. Valentine. It's likely that the real-deal was martyred by Emperor Gothicus II in the 3rd Century, and there are plenty of nice stories about him. Fake news, but nice all the same. 

V-Day as we know it

Nowadays, Valentine's Day is a huge industry, with just under $20 billion spent in the US, and over £500 million spent in the UK. Big Think have written a pretty interesting article about it's commercialisation, which you can read here. There's even an anti-Valentine's day industry, and several spin-off holidays including Single Awareness Day (SAD), Palentine's Day and Galentine's Day. 

LOVE-Ly EVENTS

Of course, an industry of that scale means there are plenty of interesting events to be found across the globe. There's the Valentine's Haunted House in Dallas, the Bleeding Heart Ball in London, and Tinder-Live in New York. From run-of-the-mill, to weird and wonderful, people are always finding creative ways to celebrate (or rebel against) this contentious holiday. There's a few handy guides here if you want to get in on the action, or if you're lucky enough to have a hot date, there are plenty of nice ideas for that too. 

The bottom line

Love it or loathe it, it's here to stay, and as the saying goes - if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! So find a way to make this holiday work for you, by making-bacon or making money on an event of your own. Whatever you decide to do, we hope it's a good one!

 

 
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