Now that you all know how I feel about Valentines Day, allow me to introduce Lupercalia – a pagan holiday that takes place February 13-15, and may be the reason that the ancient Christian church decided it needed a holiday at this time (you know, to Christian-up a pre-existing party). Wikipedia tells me that Lupercalia was to “avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility”…sounds like an orgy to me!
Originally, I was inspired to write about books today – seeing that I can’t stop buying them, and the first thing anyone sees on entering my house is my “books purchased but not yet read” (several purchased second-hand, but still). But when the term “bibliophile” was used in my general direction as I perused The Onion's "Our Dumb World" atlas, I realized that I’d be writing a love story. And I, for one, will not write about love on February 14 (hereafter known as Lupercalia)!
When my dearest friend got my Christmas card and letter this year, she said “You should write love stories” …or maybe it was “You should write romances”. Something like that. Knowing my utterly non-romantic nature, I still don’t get it.
I’m glad I found out about Lupercalia. I've heard "happy valentines day" enough today to make my ears bleed. Now at least I can reply with a "happy lupercalia" in return. ...I actually got an email from a (male) friend who really should know better. The email's subject was "happy valentines day". I did not open it - figured I'll wait at least until tomorrow, because clearly this dear old friend who has known me for 15 years (ish) does not actually know me at all. Such a shame. I can only assume that he's just following "the Valentines Day rules" and not really thinking about the person he sent the email to.
For my part, I'm having second thoughts about my movie choice for later tonight. What do I have that could be construed as "pagan celebration" - 300? One of the Harry Potters? LOTR? Wizard of Oz? In a world where anything goes, what still counts as pagan?