The Origins of Valentine’s Day

Cupid

The Feast of [tag]Lubercus[/tag]

The first interpretation has this celebration originating as a [tag]pagan[/tag] tradition in the third century. During this time hordes of hungry wolves roamed outside of Rome where shepherds kept their flocks. The God Lupercus, was said to watch over the shepherds and their flocks and keep them from the wolves. Every February the [tag]Romans[/tag] celebrated a feast called Lupercalia to honor Lupercus so that no harm would come to the shepherds and their flocks. Also during Lupercalia, but in honor of the goddess Juno Februata, the names of young women were put into a box and names were drawn by lot. The boys and girls who were matched would be considered partners for the year, which began in March. This celebration continued long after wolves were a problem to Rome.


St. Valentine’s Day

As Christianity became prevalent, priests attempted to replace old heathen practices. To Christianize the ancient pagan celebration of the Feast of Lubercus, the church officials changed the name to St. Valentine’s Day. To give the celebration further meaning and eliminate pagan traditions, priests substituted the drawing of Saints names for the names of the girls. On St. Valentine’s Day the priest placed saint’s names into an urn or box. The young people then drew a name from the container. In the following year, the youth was supposed to emulate the life of the saint whose name he had drawn.

By the fourteenth century they reverted back to the use of girl’s names. In the sixteenth century they once again tried to have saintly valentines but it was as unsuccessful as the first attempt.

While it can’t be proved historically, there were seven men named Valentine who were honored with feasts on February 14th. Of these men, two stories link incidents that could have given our present day meaning to St. Valentine’s Day.

One of these men named Valentine was a priest during the reign of Emperor Claudius. [tag]Valentine[/tag] was revered by the young and old, rich and poor, with people of all walks of life attending his services. At this time Emperor Claudius was heavily recruiting men to serve as soldiers for his wars without much success. The men preferred not to leave their wives, families and sweethearts to fight in foreign lands. Claudius became angry and declared that no more marriages could be performed and all engagements were cancelled.

Valentine thought this to be unfair and secretly married several couples. When Claudius found out, he threw Valentine in prison where he died. Friends of the priest retrieved his body and buried it in a churchyard in Rome.

Another version had St. Valentine jailed for helping Christians. While Valentine was in prison he cured a jailer’s daughter of blindness. Claudius became enraged and had Valentine clubbed and beheaded on February 14, 269 A.D.

Yet another story claims that Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and wrote her letters that were signed “From your Valentine.”

All of the seven Valentines eventually evolved into one. In 496 Pope Gelasius declared the day in honor of St. Valentine. Through the centuries the Christian holiday became a time to exchange love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. Lovers’ quarrels come under his jurisdiction and, naturally, he is the patron saint of engaged couples and of anyone wishing to marry.


February 14th – The Day the Birds Began to Mate

The Europeans also believed that on February 14th the birds began to choose their mates. In fact Chaucer, in his “Parlement of Foules,” wrote: “For this was Seynt Valentine’s Day when every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”

John Donne wrote:

    Hail Bishop Valentine! whose day this is;
    All the air is thy diocese,
    And all the chirping choristers
    And other birds are thy parishioners:
    Thou marryest ever year
    The lyric lark and the grave whispering dove;
    The sparrow that neglects his life for love,
    The household bird with the red stomarcher;
    Celebrations
    Thous mak’st the blackbird speed as soon,
    As doth the goldfinch or the halcyon . . .
    This day more cheerfully than ever shine,
    This day which might inflame thyself, old Valentine!

The Christian tradition of drawing names on St. Valentine’s Eve continued in England and other places. The tradition of birds choosing their mates on [tag]St. Valentine’s Day[/tag] led to the idea that boys and girls would do the same. Now when a youth drew a girl’s name, he wore it on his sleeve, and attended and protected her during the following year. This made the girl his valentine and they exchanged love tokens throughout the year. Later this was changed to only men giving love tokens to females, usually without names but signed “with St. Valentine’s Love.”

Later, in France, both sexes drew from the valentine box. A booked called Travels in England, written in 1698, gives an account of the way it was done:

    On St. Valentine’s Eve an equal number of Maids and Bachelors get together, each writes their true or some feigned name upon separate billets, which they roll up and draw by way of lots, the Maids taking the Men’s billets, and the Men the Maids’; so that each of the young Men lights upon a Girl that he calls his Valentine, and each of the Girls upon a young Man which she calls hers. By this means each has two Valentines–but the Man sticks faster to the Valentine that is fallen to him than to the Valentine to whom he is fallen. Fortune having thus divided the company into so many couples, the valentines give balls and treats to their mistresses, wear their billets several days upon their bosoms or sleeves, and this little sport ofen ends in Love. This ceremony is practised differently in different Countries, and according to the freedom or severity of Madame Valentine. This is another kind of Valentine, which is the first young Man or Woman chance throws in your way in the street, or elsewhere . . .

St. Valentine’s Day was mentioned by Shakespeare. The poet, Drayton, wrote verses entitled “To His Valentine,” in which he expressed the idea of the birds’ mating on St. Valentine’s Day.

    • Each little bird this tide
      Doth choose her beloved peer,
      Which constantly abide
      In wedlock all the year.

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And just what is all this DRM stuff (why can’t I burn my downloaded music to a cd?)

locked cdDigital Rights Management (generally abbreviated to DRM) is an umbrella term that refers to any of several technologies used by publishers or copyright owners to control access to and usage of digital data or hardware, and to restrictions associated with a specific instance of a digital work or device. The term is often confused with copy protection and technical protection measures; these two terms refer to technologies that control or restrict the use and access of digital content on electronic devices with such technologies installed, acting as components of a DRM design.

So, how does this apply to you and me? I will try to explain a bit. Let’s say that you buy the latest Tim Wilson cd for $15. A hefty sum for a cd IMO. Your little brother likes to borrow your cd’s, and you always get them back scratched and unplayable. You decide that you are going to rip this cd to your pc so you have a copy of the music. You pop the CD into your pc and the player that is built into the cd pops up. You HAVE the option (in this particular instance) to copy the cd over to your pc. After you get the cd copied, you play the music files on your pc. Works great! Now you don’t have to worry about the cd getting scratched, because you have a backup!

Fast forward a couple of weeks. You come in after a hard day of school skipping and skateboarding and notice that your music collection is scattered all over the floor. Your new cd is missing. You head straight to your little brothers room and discover that he has been experimenting with putting cd’s in the microwave. Your new cd was “accidentaly” put in the microwave instead of the Ace of Bass cd you gave him to experiment with.

A few wedgies later, you head back to your room. You remember that you ripped the cd to your pc a few weeks ago, so your not too upset (but you don’t tell your brother that). You put a blank cd into the burner, open your favorite burning software and load up the songs. Hit the burn button, and away you go! After about enough time goes by to delete the spam messages out of your myspace account, the cd tray pops out and you grab your cd. The excitement is running through your veins like a white boy in south central LA. You put the cd into your player and what screams out of it reminds you of Alvin and the Chipmunks after a bad hit of LSD. You’ve been DRM’d!! HAHA!! LOLOL!!!!11

Your in an elite club now. A club that begins to scour the net for a way to burn the music that YOU PAID FOR to another cd. You find all of these tools, but none of them work…they are all too old!

Sit back, take a deep breathe and relax. There is a tool out there in the deepest darkest parts of the net. The places where the weak not venture to go for fear that the RIAA might come knocking at their door for just reading a post on a forum. (Don’t put it past them!)

You call your best friend Bo (the super pirate) and he tells you to meet him after midnight under the I-40 overpass and to come alone. You see your friend standing there…he is visibly shaken. Peering around a concrete column at every sound he hears. He slips you a piece of paper and sprints out of sight. You open the paper and he has jotted on there “fu4wm13fix.zip”. You wonder what exactly it is. Upon arriving home, you plug that string of characters into google, and you have a look around. Now your on the right track!

TAKE NOTE!!:
Breaking the DRM or distributing the tools to break DRM may expose you to liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) even if you’re not making any illegal uses.