I have heard conflicting stories on this Saint Valentine and the events historically associated with the holiday. February 14, 1929 marks one of the bloodiest mob scenes in Chicago. Al Capone had allegedly contracted a hit on a rival gang which killed 7 people. This marked the end of Capone’s gang opposition in Chicago, and also the day his adoring Chicago fans stopped adoring him and just wanted an end to the bootleg wars that plagued the city with violence.
There is also a Father Valentine that is supposed to be one of many Valentines canonized by the Catholic church. Father Valentine went against the Roman Emperor Claudius, who had banned marriage. Valentine would continue to marry young lovers, and was caught, convicted, and sentenced to death. He reportedly fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and on the day he was sentenced to die, he passed her a note that simply said, from your Valentine- I wonder if it had Buzz Lightyear on it? He was sentenced to death and died on February 14.
There is also the idea that Valentine’s Day began as the Lupercalia Pagan festival which occurred around the middle of February. This festival, among other things, consisted of animal sacrifices, and then slapping young maidens with animal skins soaked in blood. Well, nothing says love like bloody goat skin against your back…
Cupid was the Roman God of love and is considered the mascot of this holiday by many. I’m not sure how a 3,000-year-old baby who shoots arrows at people to make them fall in love has become so iconic in the celebration of love, but to each his own I suppose. So blood- red, sacrifice- money spent, and hearts- the animals’? I guess I can see how we got here?
This holiday generates nearly 14 million dollars annually for retailers. 14 million dollars, to say I love you! That’s a lot of money for red plastic buckets, Disney cards telling people they are cute, and Neko candy hearts that continue to encourage children that spelling really doesn’t matter- U R Cute…
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