By Simonbook - 11 Feb 2015 in
Though no one has pinpointed the exact origin of the holiday, one good place to start is ancient Rome, where men hit on women by, well, hitting them.
From Feb. 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.
Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado says "Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, they believed this would make them fertile".
The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be hooked up for the duration of the festival - or longer, if the match was right.
The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men - both named Valentine - on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom was honoured by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day.