Where did Valentine's Day start? Lupercalia: Rome's most bizarre spring rite

Where does Valentine's Day come from? Let us introduce you to the festival of Lupercalia, a festival when naked young men and women ran around whipping one another with animal hides.

A young man dressed in sheepskin leather whipping a girl for fun, Lupercalia pastoral festival, drawing, Roman civilization, 2nd-1st century BC. (Getty Images)

Valentine’s Day is a weird holiday when you think about it. On a usually cold day—February 14—we eat chocolate, give greeting cards, celebrate romance, and find the need to make a big deal out of it in schools. While the modern holiday is, often correctly, viewed as a “Hallmark Holiday” the origins of the festival go back more than two thousand years to a Pagan ritual with strange customs and festivities that would make a modern romantic blush.

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Nestlé Claims Ability to Slash Sugar from Chocolate Without Sacrificing Taste

Scientists at the food giant reportedly found a novel way of altering the molecular structure of sugar. 

 

A display of Kit Kat singles.

For those of us obsessed with chocolate, including yours truly, this announcement sounds too good to be true. After all, the food industry has made some extraordinary claims about sweeteners in the past that didn’t really pan out. (I’m looking at you, Stevia). Turns out they are all bad for you. And remember those fat-free chips with olestra that were supposed to give you that same great snacking experience, without the added heart disease or expanded waistline? They caused an embarrassing little side effect known as “anal leakage.” So excuse me, Nestlé, for my skepticism.

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