February 15: Lupercalia Day, Gumdrop Day

~★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
February 15


★~ Today’s Quote:  “When a small boy or girl hands you a flat gumdrop and you eat it, you have acquired that wonderful gift called tact”  (unknown)

★~ Lupercalia Day:

Today is the third and final day of Lupercalia, also known as Februa.

In Ancient Rome, the festival of Lupercalia was held on February 15. In legend, the twin founders of the city, Romulus and Remus, were thrown into the River Tiber on the orders of their usurping uncle Amulius. The babies washed ashore by a wild fig tree and were found by a she-wolf, who suckled them and raised them with her mate. Years later they were found, living feral, by the shepherd Faustulus and his wife, Acca Larentia, who took them in. Upon reaching adulthood, they discovered their true identities and set out to avenge themselves on their wicked great-uncle. Having killed him, they founded the Eternal City (Rome).

Once restored to their regal position, the brothers rediscovered the den they were raised in and called it the Lupercal (the wolves’ cave). It became a sacred site along with the remains of the shepherd’s hut. The Lupercalia ritual in Rome was held in the cave.

An order of priests gathered before the Lupercale on the Palatine hill and sacrificed a dog for purification and a pair of young male goats for fertility. The hides of the goats were then cut into strips, dipped in blood, and taken around the streets of Rome. These bits of hide were touched to fields to insure fertile livestock and women as a way of encouraging fertility in the coming year. Girls and young women would line up on their route to receive light lashes from goat skin whips. After the priests concluded the fertility rites, young women placed their names in a jar, and the men drew names in order to choose a partner for the rest of the merry-making celebrations.

Lupercalian festivities continued until Pope Gelasius I outlawed them in 494 CE. The Church instituted the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, and the feast day of St. Valentine was added to the calendar two years later. The habit of sending love tokens on this date is rooted in the festival of Lupercalian — although it might be hard to see the connection between cute little Valentines and slapping women with bits of dead goat.

Lupercalian celebrates fertility, which can of course mean starting or growing your family; but it can also celebrate the fertility of new ideas and possibilities.

★~ Gumdrop Day:

Whenever I think of gumdrops, I can’t help but think of the song: “If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops, oh, what a rain that would be! Standing outside, with my mouth open wide, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops Oh, what a rain that would be!”

Gumdrops have been around for at least 200 years, and surely you have passed over Gum Drop Mountain on the Candyland game board at least that many times!

Enjoy one gumdrop today or a whole bag of gumdrops!

★~ Today in History:

♥~ 1758 – Mustard, was advertised for the first time in America. Who do you think was responsible for bringing mustard to the U.S.A.?  It was Benjamin Franklin. We wonder whether Ben preferred the yellow or the dark mustard — and what he would have thought of the many uses of mustard in haute cuisine.

♥~ 1764 the city of St. Louis was founded by businessman Pierre Laclède and his 14-year-old stepson, Auguste Chouteau. Laclede took young Auguste on his journey up the Mississippi to establish a trading post at the place where the Mississippi and Missouri came together. They stayed at a French fort about 50 miles south of what is now St. Louis, and looked for land. In November of 1763, Laclède found the place he wanted, a limestone bluff, and he marked trees and then went back to the fort for the winter. He told family and friends, “I have found a situation where I am going to form a settlement which might become, on the finest cities in American–so many advantages are embraced in its site, by it’s locality and central position, for forming Settlements.”  The river broke up in February, the return with about 30 friends to the marked spot to start clearing land on February 15, 1764.

♥~ 1969 Sly and the Family Stone started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Everyday People’, their first No.1.

♥~ 1975 Linda Ronstadt went to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘You’re No Good’, the singers only solo chart topper out of 12 other top 40 hits.

★~Born Today:

♥~ 1564 Galileo Galilei: Italian natural philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician

♥~ 1820 – Susan B. (Brownell) Anthony suffragist: 1st American woman to be pictured on a coin: the Susan B. Anthony dollar; died Mar 13, 1906

♥~ 1951 – Melissa Manchester singer: Don’t Cry Out Loud, Midnight Blue, You Should Hear How She Talks About You

♥~ 1951 – Jane Seymour (Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg) Emmy-award winning actress: Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman [1996], Onassis: The Richest Man in the World [1988]; Live and Let Die, Somewhere in Time, East of Eden [TV], Lassiter, War and Remembrance

♥~ 1986 – Riley,  actress : Glee

★~ Did You Know:

♥~ Mustard is made from the ground seeds of a mustard plant, water, vinegar, and optionally some flavorings and spices.

♥~ The Romans mixed unfermented grape juice, known as must, with ground mustard seeds (called sinapis) to make “burning must”, mustum ardens. That’s the source of the name “must ard”.

♥~ Yellow mustard (a.k.a. regular mustard) is the most commonly used mustard in the US. The rest of the world calls it American mustard. It is a very mild mustard colored bright yellow due to the use of turmeric. It was introduced over 100 years ago in 1904 by George T. French who bet that Americans would prefer milder tasting mustard than what was available at the time.

♥~ Dijon mustard uses white wine in addition to vinegar.

♥~ The Mustard Museum of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin features a collection of over 5,000 jars of mustard from all 50 states and 60 countries.

♥~ Per capita consumption of mustard in the US is about 12 oz. annually.

♥~ Nutrition-wise, a serving of mustard (1 teaspoon) has less than 20 calories, no sugar, no fat, and only 55mg of sodium.


There are grape, cherry, orange, lemon, cinnamon, clove mint, and anise flavored gumdrops. Which flavor do you like best?  I am dying to know so do share! Odd Loves Company!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Wednesday!

11 thoughts on “February 15: Lupercalia Day, Gumdrop Day

  1. I like mustard on everything! I have a fridge full of different kinds of mustards.
    Seems to me it would me smart for any man today to step way back from slapping a women with goat skins dipped in dog blood.
    Believe I will also pass on gumdrops after all the chocolate I ate yesterday.

  2. I always new Mike was a smart man!

    Love gumdrops…ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah oh what a day it would beeeeeeeeee.

    Have a great day!!

  3. El Morno is just FULL of interesting facts today! My high school Latin teacher told us about Lupercalia, but I’d forgotten some of the details (especially about the bloodied goat skins!) Bet that city smelled afterward, huh?? I like the orange and lemon gumdrops best, but they don’t hold a candle to chocolate, LOTS of chocolate!

  4. I like BIG gum drops…remember Chuckles? I always saved my favorite for last: licorice (or anise). NUMMMMM
    ALso prefer Chuckles over popcorn at the movies…

  5. Pingback: February 21: International Mother Language Day, Mardi Gras, Paczki Day

Comments are closed.