14 February, Valentine’s Day, is when our thoughts turn to romantic love.  We think about those to whom we are romantically attached and seek to reassure them of our love and appreciation.  And that’s a good thing.  Our nearest and dearest need to know we care about them and how essential they are to our lives.  However, you may be surprised at the origin of this day of love.

It is thought our modern Valentine’s Day owes its origins to the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia held on 13-15 February.  At this time of year men would drink heavily, then sacrifice goats and dogs, line up their women, strip them of their clothes, and whip them with the animal skins.  The purpose of this strange ceremony was to increase the women’s fertility.  The feast included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men