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Carol Bryson MNAEA, Managing Director of JP Harll

Valentine's Day is believed to have originated from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia. Held annually on the 15th of February, Lupercalia was a fertility celebration dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus. During the celebration, Roman men would sacrifice goats and dogs, then use the hides of the animals to whip women in an effort to make them more fertile. Later, during the 5th century, Pope Gelasius declared February 14th as St. Valentine's Day in an effort to Christianize the pagan celebration. Since then, the day has been associated with romance and love.

Thank goodness we didn't live back then. Cards and gifts or even a meal out seem rather tame but a lot more enjoyable nowadays.

What with people on social media trying to out-do each other now, can you imagine back then. "I've been whipped 5 times", "I've been whipped 10!" "well, I've been whipped 100" Smashing!

It's time to brace ourselves for the onslaught of all things 'loveydovey' and if you are all 'loved up' that's 'lovely', but if you're not, don't worry it will soon be all over. A bit like the 'be kind' campaign during Lockdown and everyone will revert back to their normal selves.

We will have our 'spread the love' campaign again this year. So keep an eye out in the run up to Valentines Day for our roses left here and there to bring a little brightness to your day.

Love from all at JP Harll