Lupercalia - The Origins of Valentines Day and Key Parties
Everyone's favourite lusty holiday has gone through quite a few iterations in its time. Christianity took it and sterilised it, encouraging sweet nothings and love notes. Capitalism took it and monitised it, suggesting we should send delectable treats and bouquets of flowers alongside our cards. I’d like to take you back to pagan times, when things were a little more rambunctious.
Lupercalia, or Luna-calia as it shall henceforth be known, was an ancient annual celebration which has its origins in pre-Roman times. Luna-calia was celebrated between 13th-15th February each year, and was said to purify the city of Rome and welcome good health and fertility to its inhabitants.
The name comes from the Lupercal cave where a she-wolf nursed Romulus and Remus as babies, the former of which went on to found the city of Rome. The festivities would start at the cave with the sacrifice of goats and small dogs to appease the gods. The skins of the animals were then fashioned into cloaks for the men to wear and small strips which they would hold in their hands.
The men whipped Women with the strips as they ran through the streets, believing it to aid fertility and ease childbirth. There was a great feast after which we come to my favourite part, the origin of kink and fun sex acts. In this episode we discover key parties have their roots in pre-Roman times. Men would pick Women's names from a jar and the two would then spend the rest of Lupercalia as a couple, meaning they would pair off and fornicate.
So there you have it Moon Gazers, the kinky, sex fuelled origins of Valentines Day.