Valentine’s Day, a Lesson in Love?

Or, how to Spend Valentine’s Day in Seattle

You’re standing in a quaint square in Rome. It’s the Feast of Lupercalia (Feb. 13th – 15th), and the streets are filled with men and women looking to have a good time. You stand in a line of other naked women (everyone is naked, it’s cool) – waiting to be hit with the hide of a goat that was just slain, by a guy will be your ‘date’ for the rest of the festival. Or maybe longer if the fates made a good match. Wait. What?!?

That is how Valentine’s day started. At least according to Google…. Historians can’t agree on the exact specifics, but they do agree that it most likely started in the 3rd century A.D when Emperor Cladius II executed two men (both named Valentine, oddly enough) on different years on February 14th. Then at some point the Catholic Church made them martyrs and gave them Feb. 14th as their day to be remembered. And they get to be Saints. Nice.

Fast forward to the 5th century, when a Pope named Gelasius decided that the Pegan way was not cool and combined Valentine’s Day with the Lupercalia Fest to make a more wholesome holiday. With clothing, and more theatrics than actual animal slaying and whipping naked women. With me so far? Around the same time, the Normans (Scandinavian Vikings that took over Northern France) were celebrating Galatin’s Day. Galatin meant “lover of women”. No dead-animal woman whipping for them, these Vikings were enlightened. Ok, and…? Apparently Galatin’s Day and St. Valentine’s Day got confused because the sounded similar and poof! A holiday all about being nice to your female mate. Poets wrote love poems and people made cards by hand. More sappy-sweet than animal-cruel, I like it.

Enter the Hallmark Card Empire in 1913. They mass produced Valentine’s cards for the first time, commercializing the ‘holiday’ and forever changing how we today see it. And whether you are the Cupid-hit-me-with-your-arrow type, or the binge-watching Dexter while devouring day-of half-price sweets kind of kid, here in Seattle you both can find something enjoyable to do. Seriously. Or you’re just not trying hard enough. Don’t believe me? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Dinner and the amazing Mr. Ethan Stowell

Though born in Germany, Ethan was raised on Capital Hill and began cooking at a young age. By 2003 he had opened his first restaurant and has been going strong ever since. He now has 13 restaurants around the city (every one of them great!) and almost all are offering a special menu for those who want an amazing meal to share with your love. Or roommate. Maybe you’re the single-and-loving-it person happy with a table for one. Doesn’t matter, just get out and eat a meal at a table with real silverware! The ESR website has all the details and locations, but I wanted to point out the Lobster Feast for $65/guest at the San Juan Seltzery in Sodo. It includes appetizers (salad, chicken liver mousse, tuna tartare), main course (steamed Maine Lobster, fries, and cole slaw), and pecan pie with ice cream for dessert. Mmmmm……

Noir Films Anyone?

If you prefer movies to dinner for your day of love, Noir City Seattle’s opening night at the historic Egyptian Theater.  February 14th – 20th you can watch these classic films from around the world on the big screen, and hosted by Eddie Muller no less! Opening night features The Beast Must Die, and Argentinian classic from 1952 based on Nicholas Blake’s 1936 novel.  The film starts at 6:30 but go early for tango music by the Ben Thomas Trio. Feeling saucy? Guests are encouraged to dress as their fave anti-hero or femme fatale – let’s be honest, dress-up is fun! Details on all the films and tickets can be found here.  

How about a Formal?

No, not like prom. Unless you went to prom in the age of Grunge like I did. The Flannel Formal by Kahlua and SE Productions is kind of like a white party, but with plaid and flannel. When I hear that word, I think of Kurt Cobain (RIP) and his unique use of said shirt. You might think jammies. Maybe the kind with feet. Either way is correct for this twist on traditional fancy-dress dances. Tickets are available on Eventbrite for $35 and include 2 Drinks, Light Appetizers & Desserts, PNW Beer, Wine and Chocolate tasting, Karaoke, a Fish Throwing Contest (a la Pike Place), and ghost stories. And fun. And I’m assuming some epic people watching!

There you have it folks. A few suggestions to get you in the mood (or not) for Valentine’s Day!

A Romantic Seattle Stay

When you’re here in the name of romance, or just want an amazing place to stay while in Seattle, make sure the team at Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals has you booked in a beautiful downtown location. We’ll keep you close to the venues that offer a variety of events while providing unsurpassed views as the city comes to life during the day and well into the night. Contact us to start planning your Valentine’s trip!

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