Friday, February 6, 2015

The History of Valentines Day

The month of January passed by in a flash of lightening. I am positive the rest of the year will go fast as well. Anyway, I have great Jurassic World news today, so you'll want to check that out, along with my special Valentine's Day article. Exciting stuff! But first, let's get started with the "Days till" section.

Days till:
It is: 6 days till President Lincoln's Birthday
It is: 8 days till Valentine's Day
It is: 10 days till President's Day
It is: 39 days till St. Patrick's Day

In the Spotlight:
As promised last month, an all-new trailer for Jurassic World was released during the Super Bowl! This trailer is shorter than the one that showed on Thanksgiving, but there are a lot more dinosaurs seen in it and, in my opinion, it gives us a better sense of the plot. Check it out below:

Cool, huh? Here are some screenshots from the film:

After the first trailer was released, many complained about the quality of the CGI dinosaurs and other "extinct" creatures (though I saw nothing to complain about). However, it is clear they were not, and are likely still not finished with editing. You can see below that several scenes from the first trailer were greatly improved in the Super Bowl trailer. It is probably going to look even better by the time of the movie's release:

As if this were not enough, we even have the trailer for the Lego Jurassic World game we've been constantly hearing about! Here it is below:

And as if this were not enough, there's even a picture of the Owen character in Lego form:

Owen from Jurassic World in Lego form!

Jurassic World comes out on June 12th, but in the meantime, check out the viral site because loads of new content was uploaded, including the park's mounted camera feeds, information on some more attractions and even Indominus rex's bio page.

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan

Valentine's Day is almost here!
Valentine's Day is generally associated with hearts, love, roses, hugs and kisses and happy couples. But how did this holiday start? Did you know that even though Valentine's Day is a “fluffy” time of year for us today, the origins to this day were anything but. Read on to find out the roots of Valentine's Day.

My heart goes pitapat!
The simple answer to Valentine's Day's origins is that no one really knows how it got started. However, this does not by any standard mean the trail is completely cold. Some historians believe the roots to Valentine's Day lie with a Roman (or possibly earlier) festival that took place between February 13th  till the 15th and it was called Lupercalia. This celebration gets its name from either Lupercal, the cave in which, according to mythology, a “she-wolf” named Lupa (who the festival was partly in honor of) nursed Romulus and Remus or the mythical Roman god Lupercus, the god of shepherds. The purpose of this festival was to further fertility and dispel evil. This event had several bizarre practices that were not what one would expect for a day possibly linked to Valentine's Day; the festivities included sacrificing goats and a dog, the offering of cakes by the Vestals and the horrifically peculiar ritual regarding fertility. This ritual involved two young men – wearing animal skins – who would run around the city with strips of goat skin. The goat skin was used to slap women and was believed to result in pregnancy in infertile women and help delivery if the women slapped were already pregnant.

Was Lupercalia, a Roman fertility festival, where Valentine's Day found its origins? Most historians don't think so.
Most historians don't believe Lupercalia, saying that there is no proof this event was related to the holiday in any fashion. The jury is still out for now. Regardless of which opinion rings true, Pope Gelasius I (492-496) was the man who eventually abolished Lupercalia in 496 AD. Thank goodness for Pope Gelasius!

Pope Gelasius abolished Lupercalia in 496 AD.
There is a historical legend that might be responsible for the actual origins of Valentine's Day. After the end of Lupercalia, Pope Gelasius established another event set for February 14 – St. Valentine's Day, to honor a man by that very name. Today, it is unknown which St. Valentine Gelasius was referring to, as according to the Catholic Encyclopedia, at least three Christian saints had this very name. Many scholars think the St. Valentine Gelasius was referring to was a priest whom was disliked by Claudius II, the emperor of Rome in the year 270.

Once again, the history of Valentine's Day steps into the shadows of uncertainty, but there is a legend about this priest St. Valentine that might hold some clues. The story goes that Claudius II banned marriages for young men because he believed unmarried men would make better soldiers for his army; perhaps one reason for this was because he figured they were less likely to get distracted homesickness when out at war. But St. Valentine decided to marry couples in secret. He was found out and put under arrest. His sentence was to become executed. But before his execution, he fell in love with his jailer's daughter. St. Valentine is said to have given her a note which simply said, “From your Valentine” – this would have been the very first “valentine”. Historians often doubt the legitimacy of this legend, as history indicates Claudius II's marriage ban was never issued and he even encouraged his soldiers to take for themselves two or three women when they had victory of the Goths. Another legend has it that St. Valentine was executed because he refused to reject his religion. But after his death, the jailer and his household accepted Jesus Christ and became baptized. Will we ever know the truth about St. Valentine's connection with Valentine's Day?

This is a shrine of St. Valentine in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland. Was St. Valentine responsible for Valentine's Day as we know it?
Perhaps not. However, in the end, we don't celebrate Valentine's Day because of how it started. We celebrate for the love of loved ones around us and the love we feel for that “someone special”. Before I end this article, I should like to remind you of our first love – the love God felt for us. He wanted a relationship with us, but our sin caused us to fall away from Him, as God cannot be associated with sin. So God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for our sin – death. Now, we can have that relationship with God. It is the love God has for us that we can spread around to those around us this Valentine's Day!

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.



Disclaimer: Many (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, please kindly let me know.

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