The Valentine Chase

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As the film trailer on this page notes, Valentine’s Day is the day where relationships are on display. It’s sickening isn’t it? Kidding. It’s not sickening, but it can be hell on earth for the singletons. St Valentine Day is the one day that makes these loved up couples, including the weary married couples, feel superior. Yes, even miserable spouses buy each other flowers and chocolates on this day to fit in with the rest who…go over the top with the flowers. Aren’t spontaneous gifts more fun?

The film Valentine’s Day is yet another attempt by Hollywood to cash in on this one day in the same way that this pseudo holiday and every retailer cash in each year.

Check out any image of St Valentine. How miserable does this dude look? My oh my! It’s as though he knows the secret about the potential nightmare of long-term ‘romantic love’ in the midst of diaper changes, nagging in-laws, mortgages, stressful jobs and competing partners, in addition to the risk of infidelity. Call me a skeptic (Who said that?), but I don’t really buy it just like I haven’t bought anything St Valentine Day related for the past five years.  But enough about my ho-hum romantic life.

Pretty much everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is really a Christian manufactured holiday that is heavily borrowed from the pagan, yes pagan, celebration of the Lupercalia festival. The History Channel discusses this day,devoting an entire page to it, but tends to avoid getting into the pagan orgins of this day (lest they offend Christians? I’m Christian and I’m not offended).

Even Shakespeare took note of the celebration in his play, Julius Caesar:

CAESAR (to Calpurnia)

Stand you directly in Antonius’ way,
When he doth run his course. Antonius!


Caesar, my lord?


Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,
The barren touched in this holy chase,
Shake off their sterile curse.
Anthony is told that the barren conceive during the festive period and Lupercalia did involve a chase of sorts.
Lupercalia, of which many write that it was anciently celebrated by shepherds, and has also some connection with the Arcadian Lycaea. At this time many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs. And many women of rank also purposely get in their way, and like children at school present their hands to be struck, believing that the pregnant will thus be helped in delivery and the barren to pregnancy. – Plutarch
Now if Hollywood made a film about these ancient celebrations, we’d have an interesting story. Although Valentine’s Day seems funny in parts, it is still made in the same style as sucky films like ‘He’s Just Not that Into You.’

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