EVERY YEAR, FEBRUARY 14th comes around to remind everyone of how much High Street greetings cards shops love them. Although thousands of people across the globe indulge in sending gooey sweet messages to their “Bunnykins” or their “SmudgeBall”, very few are aware of the origins of the day itself.
It is said that there were three St. Valentines, all of whom were martyred although it is not known if this was because they got caught by their wives sending cards to other women. Still, it wasn’t a good start for a supposedly joyous festival.
One legend has it that an imprisoned Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter and sent her a letter containing the words, “I weally wuv my liddle Squidgy-Bunny-Poos, from your Hunky Spunky Valentine.” Of course, he was executed very soon after the Jailer saw this message.
But this very act of love and romance captured the people’s imagination and so, naturally, they started the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. This involved the sacrifice of goats and dogs followed by slapping women and crop fields with the bloody dripping hides stripped from the goats. Makes a trip to Clinton’s seem like a piece of cake. No wonder the Christian church established a St Valentine’s Day and encouraged people to place soppy personal ads and send heart-encrusted cards instead.