From pagan parties to mass self-marriage

By
February 12, 2004

Mills College Weekly

Here’s a history lesson for the uninformed about Valentine’s
Day. According to legend, Valentine was a priest in Rome who
secretly performed marriage rituals for young couples. This pairing
was done illegally according to the sanction set by Emperor
Claudius II because he believed that wives and families served as
distractions to his soldiers. Claudius felt married men would not
be able to fight as well as unmarried men. When Claudius found out
what Valentine was doing, he had him arrested, imprisoned, and
ordered he be put to death. Valentine was beheaded on Feb. 14, thus
making it a proclaimed romantic holiday.

“I don’t really care about Valentine’s Day and I’ll bet most
people don’t even know the history behind it,” said a Mills student
who asked to remain anonymous. “That doesn’t stop them from wanting
presents or doing stupid [things] like getting married. Why would
anyone even want to get married on Valentine’s Day? No thanks, I’ll
pass on all of it.

“Knowing the history of the holiday doesn’t really change much
according to graduate student Jesse Isaacs, who has opted to get
away with friends to Lake Tahoe for a four day weekend of skiing.
“I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. If I have to buy flowers,
I’ll do it the next day.” said Isaacs.

A few Mills students have found very creative ways to celebrate
the day of l’amour, others are celebrating it in a “bah humbug”
sort of way.

Mills junior Sarah Greenberg and her girlfriend found something
big and creative to do to commemorate the holiday. “We’re going to
get tattoos together. Actually, I’m getting a tattoo finished and
my girlfriend is getting a new tattoo. We just decided we’d do it
together on Valentine’s day,” said Greenberg.

“I don’t plan that far ahead,” said graduate student Alex
Freidas.

Hilary Dwyer, a senior, and her girlfriend also found something
exciting to do.

“I normally don’t do much on Valentine’s Day but this year we’re
going to Pantheacon,” said Dwyer.

Pantheacon, a pagan convention, runs for 4 days and promises to
be an extravaganza of workshops, rituals, events, networking and
fun. Pantheacon is being held in San Jose this year from Friday,
Feb. 13 through Monday, Feb. 16 at the Double Tree Hotel, 2050
Gateway Place. For more information contact (800) 547-8010 or visit
their web site at www.ancientways.com.


From pagan parties to mass self-marriage was published on February 12, 2004 in Features

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