Thursday, February 14, 2008

heart like a wheel

happy lupercalia! whoops, I mean valentine's day

while reading about the origins of valentine's day I ran across a reference which states that valentine's day was created to replace the pagan holiday of lupercalia. what is with christians, they are always usurping perfectly good holidays! before you get your panties in a bunch, I have absolutely nothing against christianity - in fact, I wish most so-called christians would act more in line with the basic teachings of jesus - to quote the 1972 doobie brother's hit song "jesus is just alright with me."

least I go off on a rant, let's get back to lupercalia and valentine's day. according to wikipedia (a favorite portal to all knowledge*) lupercalia was a holiday held to:
avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility....the Lupercalia festival was in honor of the She-Wolf who suckled the infant orphans, Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. Explaining the name of the festival, Lupercalia, which translates out into "Wolf Festival."

it is not too big a jump to see the connections between lupercalia and valentine's day. but don't you like the idea of a festival in honor of a she wolf!? I do!

during the 20th and 21st centuries, like the christians before them, the capitalists have a tendency to usurp perfectly good holidays and make them their own. did you know that in the united states it is estimated that americans will spend over 17 billion dollars on valentine's gifts! geez! that works out to about $123 per american. in my household, we don't believe in stimulating the economy with such nonsensical spending. I expect there are lots of folks out there like us which means some people really, really spend a lot of money on valentine's day gifts! we believe that doing something or making something for someone you love is so much better than buying some thing that isn't really necessary.

I find it incredibly startling to consider that americans spend more on valentine's day presents than the we spend on health research for the national institutes of health for a year. according to the american heart association the total cumulative NIH investment in cardiovascular research over the past 30 years has been about $4 per american each year. read more click here.

before you think I'm some sort of valentine's day scrooge, let me reiterate: I enjoy and believe in giving people gifts of the heart. with this in mind, I celebrate the spirit of today by giving each of you the beautiful biggest heart award. this award was recently bestowed on the mouse by blogging bud, and she of mighty big heart, absolute vanilla. the blogs I read are written by people who have big hearts and I am passing this heart to each blog on the mouse's blog roll - yes, that means YOU (if you display awards on your blog, please take this award and display it proudly!) but I don't want to stop here, if you are visit the mouse every now and then for a little dose of mouse medicine, I know this means you have a big heart otherwise why would you keep coming? so please accept this award! I (heart) you! and come to the party with bob and the gang:

sorry the party ends so abruptly ah, the vicissitudes of youtube!

*yeah, yeah I know the criticisms of wikipedia!

photos: top: hearts by dixie and e - 10 february 2008; bottom september, 2005 peace rally in dc


Anonymous said...

Actually Kim, I rather like the Christian story here. According to Ceremonies of the Seasons: Exploring and Celebrating Nature's Eternal Cycle by Jennifer Cole, the Roman emperor Claudius II banned his soldiers from marriage as it interfered with their willingness to go to war to maintain the empire.
Valentine was a Christian priest who secretly, and illegally, married young lovers. He was reportedly captured and put to death on Feb. 4, 269 CE. So the Christian message for the day is Make love, not war!

Cindy Maxey

Dumdad said...

I love the idea of lupercalia. I was a Wolf Cub when I was a little boy so I've loved wolves for a long time (and mice).

Colette Amelia said...

I am a little jaded on the whole love thing happening on this day, love real love happens every day not just one day a year and it is expressed with gifts...but then again I need to relax a little for the son has chosen valentines day for the big day next year...oi ya ya what was he thinking?

Unknown said...

I knew about the lupercalia holiday.
This year I am celebrating the 108th anniversary of the opening of The Importance of Being Earnest on stage in London. One of the greatest and funniest English language plays. And a good "Valentine" romantic opening. Oscar Wilde's lover's father came and made a big scene about Oscar's involvement with the fruit of his loins.

R.L. Bourges said...

Lupercalia works for me big-time!
(and since I notice that I am honored with a spot on your blogroll, I herewith bestow upon you the incredible honor of joining my blogroll in the next few minutes.)
(you're welcome, really, no need to make a fuss)

Ms. Mamma said...

Happy Valentines, Lovely Lady! Thanks for the thoughts the other week and the icon! XOXO

Anonymous said...

Sending lovely thoughts your way today too Kim...and thanks for the Marley song..I never tire of it. SIL oxoxo

Bobby D. said...

Lupercalifragilisticexpialidocious...Kimy's Holiday is fine, and we're glad she told us.

Hey--we are having an experiment and need info from you at Tangled.

Barbara said...

The dog picture is great. Your dog?

I have been severely cheated for many VD's if the average is $123 per person. That's OK. I rather prefer homemade cards.

WAT said...

This is a great informative post. LUPERCALIA! I am schooled once again! Merci mon cheri!

I agree, Jesus was awesome, but interpreted badly. He'll avenge this someday...

Love puppy in the pic. So cute.

True love is not shown nor demonstrated just on Valentine's but on any random day the year throughout, but you're right, America takes holidays and turns them into money-making business, we lost Xmas to this garbage years ago...

The title of your post reminds me of a Paul McCartney song of the same title! YouTube search it okay?

WAT said...

Actually "my heart is like a wheel" is a lyric, not the title of Paul's song, "Let Me Roll It."

mouse (aka kimy) said...

cindy - that's a great story - always make love, not war!

dd- howl's to you!

ca - well, given cindy's story seems like feb 14 is a very fitting day!

ekim - excellent event to celebrate! oscar is wild about lupercalia!

lee- merci!

mm - sweetness to you sweetie & hugs to both you & snowflake

anonymous - "SIL" I'm straining the brain and can't hit on who you are! illuminate s'il vous plait

ched - ;) & a most excellent experiment!

barb - dixie is daughter e's dog. only cats, mice and monty the snake live at ave c!

wat - based on the information gathered on ched's site, now I understand the shared wave!!!! I was thinking of linda ronstadt's song, but paul's lyric works!

Richard said...

As a Christian, I think most Christians (and indeed most members of any particular group) associate based on tribal instinct rather than actual conviction (unless you believe that tribal association is sufficient conviction).

I am not aware of any specific festival that was appropriated and converted to Valentine's Day (indeed, the Wikipedia article says as much). Any association with pagan festivals is at best tenuous and likely predicated on proximity rather than association. It is usually possible to find a weak correlation between two unrelated events (especially if you are prone to conspiracy theories See also confirmation bias.).

jude said...

i love reading your posts. i wanna know who BUYS valentines. i always thought, if you were celebrating, you made them.

Steve Reed said...

"I wish most so-called christians would act more in line with the basic teachings of jesus..."

Amen, sister!

Thanks for the probably says more about the generous giver than the day-late receiver. :)

Steve Reed said...

P.S. - I love the "peace boys." Did you notice one is carrying a bag that says "Chris F., Chix"

Do you think that means it's a bag of chicken???

John Eaton said...

This is the Tao, and all truth, and all life, the way of compassion, and of peace.

Thanks for the heart, Kim.

Medicine to medicine,

John :)

Gary said...

I must applaud you on the title of this post...being a huge Linda fan I cannot help but smile.