The Reason We Celebrate Valentine's Day Has Nothing To Do With Love

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The ancient Greeks had four different forms of love, only one which is what we'd call romantic. In fact, neither romantic love or its holiday were society's priority until lately.


So it should come as no shock that our modern Valentine's Day is an odd creation, rooted and lodged in older, darker, bloodier, and more mercentile endeavors. Here's the tapestry of strange events that somehow turned into today's festival of romance. 


The Gamelion's Domestic Disputes


n ancient Athens, the Greeks cataloged the period between mid-January and mid-February as Gamelion.

It was their month dedicated to the sacred marriage between their head gods Zeus and Hera. Which sounds all nice and lovey dovey, except that Zeus was a notorious philanderer and Hera had a bad habit of killing off or mutilating his conquests. So their marriage was less than happy. The concluding festivities in mid-February were focused on purification rituals—to clear up all the bad blood between the two lest the Greek's divine leaders opt for an equally tempestuous and mortally-unfriendly divorce. 






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