Thank the Bees for Valentine's Day
Let's venture back in time, to the rein of Julius Caesar and a festival known as Lupercalia. It was a wild three-day festival, full of dancing and drinking...and love making. Think of it as Woodstock, waaaaay before the Grateful Dead.
The festival was to celebrate and encourage fertility, with a lottery of eligible young women's names written down and placed in an urn. The men, one by one, drew a name from the urn and this was his new mate for the next year (and you thought The Bachelor was a crazy was to find a date!).
As Christianity swept Europe, this festival was deemed too Pegan and a softer, more PG-rated version was sought. Enter: St Valentine.
The only problem? St. Valentine had nothing to do with love. Or fertility.
So stories were fabricated on purpose, and one is still retold today: St. Valentine, the sweet man who favored love over war, married couples against Emperor Claudius II 's order for young men to go to war instead of marrying, and was eventually jailed.
While in jail, he preached Christianity to the guards and other prisoners, even cured the blindness inflicted to the guard's daughter.
Upon his execution for his crimes, he left a note for the daughter, simply inscribed, "Your Valentine" and a modern Hallmark Holiday was born.
This story pleased the European Christians, giving birth to a more romantic version of the lust-provoking festival.
The one truth: St. Valentine was a beekeeper. He was the patron saint of beekeepers in fact. And honey, which I'll affectionately call "Cupid's nectar," has been associated with happiness, love, fertility and a good marriage as far back as medieval times.
So there you have it. Valentine's Day boils down to the "birds and the bees" both literally and figuratively.
...and all this time you thought it was a day full of flowers and chocolates.
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