A little reminder that you’ve got 5 days left to purchase shades from the “Feast of Lupercal” collection before it seasonally retires for the year on March 15th. It will return back next year, on 1/15/16 for the Valentine season.
Coming soon, a collection of ten shades full of iridescence and spectral overlays of color… inspired by the Ancient Roman Feast of Lupercal- the Lupercalia. While not a traditional Valentine’s Day collection, you will find that many of the shades in this collection will work wonderfully for your modern celebrations. Nine of the shades are eyeshadow formulations, while one (Lucina) is a glitter finish, similar to the shades Oscilla and Opalia from the Sol Invictus holiday collection.
This collection will be available seasonally, through March 15th, and it will be available in three sizes: 1/8 tsp sample baggies, 1/4 tsp deluxe sample jars, and our regular full size jars with sifters.
In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia was observed February 13 through 15 to purify the city of Rome, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia took the place of Februa, an earlier-origin spring cleansing ritual held on the same date, which gives the month of February its name. The word Februata also means “purification”, further explaining the purpose of the rites.
In Roman mythology, Lupercus was a god, often identified with the Roman god Faunus, known as Pan or Pan Lycaeus in Greek mythology. Lupercus was the god of shepherds. The Lupercalia festival also honored Lupa, the she-wolf who suckled the infants Romulus and Remus, legendary founders of Rome, thus additionally explaining the name of the festival, Lupercalia, or “Festival of the Wolf” The festival was celebrated near the cave of Lupercal on the Palatine Hill.
The priests who presided over the Lupercalia rites were known as Luperci- Brothers of the wolf. On the day of celebration two young men were led to the altar, to be anointed on their foreheads with the sacrificial blood, which was wiped off the bloody knife with wool soaked in milk, after which they were expected to jovially laugh. Salt meal cakes prepared by the Vestal Virgins were burnt as part of the offering.
After the traditional sacrificial feast, the Luperci would cut thongs called “amicula Junonis” from the skins of the animals, dress themselves in the skins of the sacrificed goats, in imitation of Lupercus, and would run round the walls of the old Palatine city, the line of which was marked with stones. With thongs in their hands, in two bands, they would strike the people who crowded near. Women would actively seek out lashings from these whips. It was supposed to ensure fertility, prevent sterility in women and ease the pains of childbirth.
By the 5th century, when the public performance of pagan rites had been outlawed, Pope Gelasius I (494–96) finally abolished the Lupercalia after a long dispute. Although many articles hint at the Feast of Lupercal as being the origins of our modern Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day as we know it didn’t begin until the 1800’s. The fertility and purification rites of the Pagan Festival of Lupercal were essentially superseded by the Catholic church marked February 14th as the Feast of St. Valentine. A day that just so happened to fall right in the middle of the Feast of Lupercal.