day of love

Bhakti Issa Urra
2 min readFeb 13, 2024

Christianity often modeled early celebrations and holidays on existing festivals and feasts. For example, Christmas holiday started out when winter solstice was celebrated.

On the same trend, Valentine’s Day was held on February 14 while Lupercalia was celebrated February 13 to 15. In time many of these old-time festivals were replaced by the spreading influence of this latest religion.

La Lupa Capitolina, “the Capitoline Wolf” — with figures of Romulus & Remus added

Lupercalia was observed to honor pagan gods of love, marriage, and fertility -Pan and Juno. It is celebrated with a rite of purification and health. Only slightly connected to fertility and more as a part of celebrating health. Not at all about love.

The celebration of Saint Valentine had no romantic connotations either until Chaucer’s poetry about “Valentine’s Day” in the 14th century. This was about seven hundred years after the practice of Lupercalia is believed to have ceased.

English Victorian era Valentine card located in the Museum of London

European folk traditions connected with Saint Valentine and St. Valentine’s Day have become marginalized by commercialized customs connecting the day with romantic love. Yet the day still has some connections with the advent of spring.

Better than romantic personal love is the love of nature and honoring our natural cycles. Happy day of celebration to all!

The Salmagundi Club, New York, NY

Originally published at



Bhakti Issa Urra

canvassing consciousness, constantly curious — ever challenged & changed