February 13-15

She-wolf suckles Romulus & Remus

It’s Lupercalia time, baby.

On this day the ancient Romans remembered the She-wolf who suckled the baby Romulus—the future founder of Rome–and his brother Remus.

The priests of Rome, known as the Luperci, or ”Brotherhood of the Wolf,’ would commemorate this day by running around in loincloths smacking women on the back with an animal-skins.

What is immediately apparent in a comparison between the sacred rites of then and now is that then it was much more fun being a priest.

The ritual was intended to promote fertility, and the part about whipping girls legs is still practiced on Easter Monday in parts of Eastern Europe.

Over time this festival of the Romans was superseded by the Purification of the Virgin and the Festival of Saint Valentine.

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