There’s a lot more to Valentine’s Day than hearts and candyLike Christmas and Easter, Valentine’s Day has ancient roots as a pagan holiday later adopted by Christians who put their own stamp on it.
The celebration began possibly before the Roman era as the purification festival Februalia, celebrated around Feb. 13-15. The month of February takes its name from the festival, which fell within the last month of the Roman calendar.
Later the event became Lupercalia, a fertility festival that began with animal sacrifice. The blood was used to anoint the foreheads of priests called Luperci. After a feast the Luperci cut thongs from the skins of the sacrificed animals and went about town striking women who came near them. The lick of the thong was supposed to bestow fertility.
Christianity later changed the festival’s name and purpose to honor a martyred saint, or possibly more than one saint by the same name of Valentine.
Today it remains a celebration of love, as can be seen by Friday’s Valentine’s Day events around the region.
Two barbershop quartets will deliver singing valentines in the Moscow-Pullman, Lewiston-Clarkston Valley area Friday and Saturday.}
The quartets, Romeos and Four Names in a Hat, belong to the Palouse Harmony Chorus. A singing valentine costs $50 and includes two songs, a card, a long-stemmed rose and a sampler box of chocolates.
“It’s especially fun to deliver a singing valentine from a woman to her husband or boyfriend,” says Orrin Iseminger, of Four Names in a Hat. “Last year, my quartet went to an auto repair business in Lewiston and caught a guy during lunch. He was stunned. His co-workers gathered around, and were ready to start razzing him, until they saw the tears welling up in his eyes.”
Orders can be made by contacting Dan Pierce at (208) 883-3600.
Wine-tasing fundraiser for CASA
Clearwater Canyon Cellars in Lewiston will hold a fundraiser Friday for Court Appointed Special Advocates, a nonprofit organization that appoints volunteer advocates to help children involved in the court system.
From 5 to 8 p.m. the winery will offer four tastes of wine, hors d’oeuvores and live entertainment for a $25 donation. The first 100 people through the door will receive a commemorative wine glass. CASA will receive all the donations collected and 10 percent of all wine sales during the event at 1708 Sixth Ave. N. Suite A.
Free coffee for canned donations
Dutch Bros. Coffee locations in Lewiston and Moscow will offer a free 16-ounce drink Friday in exchange for three nonperishable food items to help local food banks fight hunger.
The annual event, called Dutch Luv Day, partners the company’s coffee stands with local food banks across seven states.
“Virgo and Valentines,” a live, narrated star theater experience featuring tales of romance in the night sky, will take place at 7 p.m. Friday at the Washington State University Planetarium.
Children age 6 and younger are free. General admission tickets are $10 and available at the door or at Beasley Coliseum Box Office, TicketsWest.com, and (800) 325-SEAT. The planetarium is on campus in Sloan Hall 231.
The Intentions play benefit concert
The regional band the Intentions will play a benefit concert for Family Promise of the Palouse from 8 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse, 420 E. Second St., Moscow. The band plays a mix of rock, folk and blues. Admission is by donation.
Romantic art of Carrie Vielle
The Bank Left Gallery in Palouse will celebrate the romantic art of Carrie Vielle and the music of composer John Elwood, both local artists, at an exhibit, concert and dinner Friday.
A free opening reception with the artists is from 5 to 8 p.m. at 100 S. Bridge St. Dinner and the concert are from 6 to 8 p.m., and the cost is $35 per person. Reservations can be made by calling (509) 878-1800.
Night in Paris (in Orofino)
In Orofino one can attend Night in Paris, the third annual Chocolate Extravaganza, from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.
Tickets are $10 each or two for $18 and include three chocolate desserts, plus visits to a chocolate fountain. The event benefits the Clearwater Youth Alliance and is at the ManiYac Teen Center at 300 Dunlap Road.
Speed dating on the slopes
Those looking for love and who love to ski could head to Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg where speed dating will take place on chair lift number three Friday.
People can pick up a free speed dating pass at the bottom of chair three and meet new people on the six-minute ride up the hill. Lift ticket prices and hours are available online.