Lupercalia

Moody Moons

Shakespeare himself opens his much-loved tragedy, Julius Caesar, amidst the colorful spectacle of Lupercalia, though (not surprisingly) he only refers to it in the vaguest poetic terms.

Among the most ancient and mysterious Roman holidays, the veil of distant history cloaks this rather boisterous pagan festival.

Scholars argue about even the most fundamental elements, including which god(s) are honored, what rites are traditional (or have evolved from tradition) and whether or not it predates even Roman times.

So what do we know about it?

The ancient festivities began and ended between February 13th-15th.

Reputed as “The Original Valentine’s Day,” Lupercalia celebrates fertility, love, and sexuality, and sets the stage for springtime cleansing rites.

Although various gods have been suggested as central to the event, many believe this lively winter holiday traditionally honors the playful, lusty god, Lupercus.

Is there a myth associated with Lupercalia?

Well, of course!  This is, after all, Greco-Roman tradition…

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