Ancient Roots, Modern Holidays for Kids - Valentine's Day Illustration

Ancient Roots, Modern Holidays for Kids - Valentine's Day

For Kids

The ancient Romans loved games and festivals. They were either preparing for or enjoying some sort of festival or celebration just about every day of the year! In the process, the ancient Romans "invented" the origins of many of the fun holiday activities we enjoy today.

The ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia honored love. On this day, young people in ancient Rome chose future marriage partners by drawing names from a hat. Can you imagine choosing your husband or wife by drawing a name from a hat? As you might guess, some of these relationships did not turn out very well and did not last very long. But some worked out very well. Some couples stayed married for life.

Cupid has played a role in the celebration of love for a very long time. To the ancient Romans, Cupid was the son of Venus (the Roman goddess of love & beauty.) In ancient Greece, Cupid was known as Eros, the son of Aphrodite (the Greek goddess of love and beauty.)

Eros and his Magic Arrows
Roman name: Cupid

Eros was the little son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Like his mother, Eros helped others to fall in love. Aphrodite had many ways to do this. Eros had only one. When Eros shot his little arrows into an unwary victim, that victim fell in love with the very next person they saw! His magical arrows worked on gods as well as mortals. You can imagine how much trouble that caused! 

His arrows, however, did not work on himself. As he grew up, he had hoped he would fall in love and live happily ever after as did many of his victims. He tried many times to fall in love, but he could not. His mother could have helped him. She was very good at making people fall in love. But no one was good enough for her son, not in Aphrodite's opinion anyway.

Eros was very lonesome until one day things changed. Read the charming myth of Eros & Psyche to discover how Eros finally found happiness.

The Charming Myth of Eros & Psyche

How do they celebrate Valentine's Day around the world?

Valentine's Day Games, Stories, Activities for Kids

For Teachers

Not everyone celebrates Valentine's Day (bbc)