Happy Purim? Or is it Valentines Day?
Did you know that Purim and Valentines Day may have a historical connection?
It could very well be, as…
Uzi Silber notes in today's Ha'aretz:
Actually, Valentines might have been a Christianized version of Lupercalia, an ancient post-winter-early-spring Roman fertility and purification festival that was observed on February 15th in which boys slapped women with bloody goat's hides.
The amorously-charged Carnivale celebrations and its American variant known as Mardi Gras also take place at this time. And Purim, which also may have originated as a Persian winter's-end festival, falls around now on non-leap years.
If Purim really is a "Judaized" version of a pagan Persian festival celebrating the end of the worst parts of winter and the beginning of what will soon be spring, and if Valentines Day originated as a "Christianization" of Lupercalia, itself a Romanized version of ancient Near Eastern end of winter festivals, then Valentines Day and Purim – and for that matter, Purim and Mardi Gras – are really the same thing.
So exploit this connection in a very Jewish way for your own benefit.
Tomorrow, after Valentines Day is over, much of that unsold Valentines Day candy will go on sale, often at 1/2 off retail. Much of this candy is kosher. Buy a ton. Hold it for Purim. Send it out as part of you meshalach manot packages. To cover yourself, add a note to the packages explaining the historical connection. (If you think that won't fly, include a note saying you gave some of the money you saved to tzedaka.)
Don't try this in haredi neighborhoods. They won't like it and they won't eat the candy anyway – it isn't cholov yisroel.