The Roman Festival of Lupercalia

Those looking for the origins of Valentine’s Day inevitably encounter the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia. The Lupercalia festival is described in sometimes conflicting details by classical and Christian writers, so we have some idea of what went on at it, but there’s even more about it we don’t know. For example, we don’t know:

  • which god was celebrated,
  • exactly how/where the Lupercalia was celebrated, or
  • what its origins were.

Lupercalia is one of the most ancient of the Roman holidays (one of the feriae listed on ancient calendars from even before the time Julius Caesar reformed the calendar). It is familiar to us today for 2 main reasons:

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Love Myths from Cultures Around the World

Enclosed are the plot summaries of love tales from ancient and modern cultures. After a unit on Classical mythology you may want to have your students compare the Greek and Roman stories to tales from cultures around the world. Students will be interested to find many parallels such as transformations, trips to the Underworld, impossible tasks, and magic charms. This booklet contains only brief samples, so there is plenty of room for further research as well as creative projects to portray similarities and differences in myths. Students can also do further research on the culture in order to relate the elements of the myth to their cultural context.

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