Today is V-Day. It’s a time for lovers, a time for mothers, and a time for social change. Valentine’s Day, the holiday, is an age-old tradition. According to historians, Valentine’s Day originated in ancient Rome, stemming from a Pagan celebration called the feast of Lupercalia, a festival of fertility and purification. NPR states:
“The Roman romantics “were drunk and naked.” According to Noel Lenski, a religious studies professor at Yale University, “Young women would line up for the men to hit them.” They believed this would make them fertile. The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.”Source: https://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133693152/the-dark-origins-of-valentines-day
The festival was made more civilized through subsequent interpretations. Ultimately, the pagan influences were reduced, Christianity took over, and the story of the martyred St. Valentine preaching in Rome was added. The holiday took on new meaning; Less debauched, still fertility, or love-based, and romanticized by people like Shakespeare, it ultimately became the cultural and commercial event we recognized today.
For those romantics who might be focused on learning to love themselves, there are other lessons to be had. For example, coupledom is no longer top priority for some Gen Z and millennials. According to The Knot, post-pandemic trends are leaning towards prioritizing health and wellness over serial dating. In fact, according to statistics 75% of Gen Z are single as opposed to 44% of millennials who are married (source). Additionally, focusing on social movements like BLM and green-sustainability rank high on the list of priorities.
“Through the pandemic, a lot of people have prioritized wellness, particularly in terms of their physical fitness, and their mental fitness, and their consumption habits.”Source: https://www.theknot.com/content/dating-trends
I guess we have come a long way from the debauched Roman holiday of old. In fact, now we even have pushback with organizations like Eve Ensler’s V-Day, One Billion Rising, an organization begun with “a mass action to end violence against women in human history.” The movement addresses the “staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.”
Today, MoM rises, along with One Billion Rising to honor 10 years of One Billion Rising and 25 years of V-Day. We join in the campaign today in 2023, which has been declared a year of INSPIRATION and ASPIRATION.
According to V-Day, this will be “A year of storytelling, building communities, strengthening solidarity, sharing dreams, planting trees, creating art, honoring women and the earth, and of dancing.”
It is the year MoM will continue “to ENVISION and CREATE new ways of being, seeing, living, loving and connecting. Of raising consciousness and deepening understanding. So that our freedom, our future, is rooted in truth, love, community, earth and body.” (Source: One Billion Rising).
To that end, join our collaboration with YesChefVillage, bringing free, healthy food to communities seeking access to dining resources and connection. This Friday, Feb. 17th, 6-7:30PM will be our second dinner with Chef Omaka and his team. You can write us INFO@MOMmuseum.org to attend, fill out the RSVP form on our website, or just show up!
Then, Saturday, Feb. 18th, come see us at Localtopia in St. Petersburg, FL, a celebration of all things local. Our booth will be in area #7, The Family Village, and we will be sharing more love, more connections, and more information and education about our mission locally. Today, LOVE EVERYBODY! Love, MoM!