This character is now regarded as quintessentially Irish but scholars now think that leipreachan, and its earlier form lupracan, is not even a native Irish word but one derived from the Luperci, a group associated with the Roman festival of Lupercalia
. This included a purification ritual involving swimming and like the Luperci, leprechauns are associated with water in what may be their first appearance in early Irish literature.
While South African women pin the names of the men they love on their sleeves, an ancient Roman tradition known as Lupercalia
, Italians exchange BaciPerugina - small, chocolate-coated hazelnuts wrapped with a romantic piece of writing done in four languages.
An Ancient Roman festival called "Lupercalia
" is celebrated every 14th of February.
Others believe it was the Christian church's way of Christianizing the Pagan celebration of Lupercalia
, a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture.
13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia
. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.
The practice is said to come from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia
Pope Gelasius declared the day as Valentine's Day because it is claimed he wanted to 'Christianize' the Pagan fertility festival Lupercalia
, which was commemorated the next day.
How he became the patron saint of lovers remains a mystery, but one theory is that the church used the day of St Valentine's martyrdom to Christianise the old Roman Lupercalia
, a pagan festival held around the middle of February.
Like the ancient Romans celebrated Lupercalia
on what's now St Valentine's Day.
It's thought the tradition came from the Roman festival of health, vitality and Lupercalia
- which was celebrated in February.
It's also customary for women in South Africa to wear their hearts on their sleeves on February 14; women pin the names of their love interest on their shirtsleeves, an ancient Roman tradition known as Lupercalia
. In some cases, this is how South African men learn of their secret admirers.
Valentine's Day is an old tradition thought to have originated from a Roman Festival known as Lupercalia
, according to History.com.