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Revisiting The Lupercalia Festival
Keep in mind that Roman pagans threw festivals that were a lot more like BDSM festivals than anything remotely family-friendly by modern standards. Lupercalia's shenanigans make 50 Shades of Grey look like vanilla extract. So clearly, bringing back the Lupercalia festival is the cure for all of this mediocre madness. I think that if we examine our roots, people will finally understand that, as modern people, we deserve better than 50 shades of NO WAY.
Roses and chocolates? No, honey; whips and animal sacrifices.
The Lupercalia festival started in The Lupercal, a grotto below the Palatine hill where a she-wolf (lupa) nursed Romulus and Remus. This wolf took care of ancient Rome's fine founders in the cave until a shepherd named Faustulus found them and raised them. Upon reaching adulthood, the twins renovated the cave so that they could use it to throw killer parties forever after. Since then, site remained the center of the Lupercalia's religious rituals. The next time someone accuses you of having a wolf-style upbringing, remember that you're probably talking to someone who has no experience with founding empires.
Lupercus, the Roman god of fertility and agriculture, was the star of Lupercalia's show. He is a pastoral deity like the rustic gods Faunus (Rome) and Pan (Greece). His priests were called "Luperci." "The Luperci, the ‘brothers of the wolf (lupus)’, a corporation of sacerdotes (priests) of Faunus or Lupercus, dressed only in a goatskin" throughout the whole shebang. They started the festival off with a display far more glamorous than the pop and fizzle of a champagne bottle. The Luperci anointed foreheads of 2 male youths (chosen to represent Romulus and Remus, of course) with the blood of freshly-sacrificed creatures. Romantic, huh?
Based on Plutarch's account, the public festivities of Lupercalia rivaled those of Mardi Gras. During the Lupercalia, it was entirely acceptable for "many of the noble youths and of the magistrates run up and down through the city naked, for sport and laughter striking those they meet with shaggy thongs." Nothing revs up my ovaries like getting whipped with "shaggy thongs" by naked strangers and goat-people. What a foolproof method of inspiring me to make babies!
Celebrants spent their time wining and dining themselves into drunken, gluttonous oblivion. The virgin priestesses of Vesta prepared cakes that the Luperci burnt as offerings. Then "the Luperci would cut thongs from the skins of the animals, which were called februa, dress themselves in the skins of the sacrificed goats, in imitation of Lupercus, and would run round the walls of the old Palatine city, the line of which was marked with stones, with the thongs in their hands in two bands, striking the people who crowded near.” Women from all socio-economic classes ran up to the streakers and held out their hands like school children to get their lucky, life-giving lashes.
Come to think about it, Lupercalia gives "40 lashes" a whole new meaning. Good thing SpongeBob and Patrick Star don't live in ancient Rome!
Warning: Unmarried young people were paired with one another in raffles. And you thought that it was awkward to be forced to give a valentine to every person in her class. These random pairings could last anywhere from a few hours to a whole year.
So what are you guys doing to celebrate this year? I hope that I'm the only one who comes prepared like last year. It felt so awkward when I had to return those 2 goats back to their original owner. I'll never forget the look on that shepherd's face...
Have a happy Valentine's Day and a merry Lupercalia!
#Real #ValentinesDay #50ShadesofYay #40LashesPlease #HornyGoats #PaganParty #Lupercalia #OldSchool
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