Lupercalia, the origins of Valentine’s Day


Lupercalia feasts are celebrated every year from 13 to 15 February by the Luperci, priests of ancient Rome late in the year of the Roman calendar. The Luperci gathered in a college that brings together descendants son of the oldest families that founded the city of Rome. This series of festivities celebrating the memory of  Romulus and Remus breastfeeding by a wolf and also paid tribute to Faunus Lupercus, a deity of fertility and defender of the herds against wolves and having a half-man half-goat appearance. The 12 Luperci priests sacrificed a goat to their god in the cave of Lupercal at the foot of the Palatine Mont where the she-wolf would have suckled Romulus and Remus  before they are rescued by a couple of shepherd whose woman, a prostitute, was called “Lupa” (the wolf in Latin). This “Lupa” was called Acca Laurentia and her prostitution business went prosperous and at her death, she bequeathed her fortune to Romulus.

Before Rome existed, the Greeks were already celebrating the feast of wolves, “Lukeia” from which will result Lupercalia. The Greek god Pan was also represented as a half-human, half-goat form. He was the protector of shepherds and flocks. Pan is one of the few divine names that can be attributed to a common Indo-European period. The god Pan is well known for its potency and it is said that he learned masturbation with his father Hermes and transmitted this habit to the shepherds. Pan shares with satyrs common attributes and they have a boor and youthful aspect, typical of the erotic brutality of youth.


A ritual was officiated by a priest in which it slashed the front of two young men in order to mix the bloodshed with milk. Then these young men ran almost naked in the entire city of Rome whipping women who wanted to have a child with the goatskin thongs to make them fertile. The goat was deemed to be the animal that symbolizes lust par excellence, all sexual pleasures.

Over the Lupercalia, the names of young women were drawn by men and the sequence of events was pure sexual immorality. In short, it was a period of widespread sexual depravity.

However, after 494 B.C. Pope Gelasius I (a Berber originally from Kabylia in North Africa, see the work of Runoko Rashidi) ended the party and substituted it by the Valentine’s Day, patron saint of engaged couples and lovers, and decreed that on February 14 either the day dedicated to the new celebration. The name Valentin is taken from Valentin of Terni, a 3rd century monk martyred under Roman Emperor Claudius II (Claudius Marcus Aurelius Gothicus), nicknamed “Claudius the Cruel”. Valentine of Terni was, by order of Claudius the Cruel, beaten by legionaries and beheaded on February 14th 269.


We saw that the goat was connected to fertility rituals. Also, the Lupercalia were purification festivals and it is the sacrifice of a goat that leaves in European culture the popular expression “scapegoat” to atone impurities. In the Judeo-Christian culture, the goat became the representation of the Antichrist and is likened to Satan while also symbolizing lust. In European occult practices, there is the figure of Baphomet, which is a half-man half-goat representation. The visual representation that we know of that Baphomet was conducted by Eliphas Levi, a French clergyman of the 19th century and major figure in occultism.

In addition to awarding the goats attribute of fertility, they are deemed to pass this skill to men and this is what explains the practice of coupling a goat and a woman. Indeed, during the Greek occupation of Ancient Egypt, introducing customs which the coupling of a goat and a woman, we understand this passage of Herodotus when he said: “It happened, while I was in Egypt, an amazing thing in the Mendesian nome: a goat that did it publicly with a woman, and this adventure was known to everyone. “(In his book” Survey “). Mendes was in the Nile Delta region.

Translated from uhem-mesut

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