Why is the Cupid Incorporated in Valentines Day?

What does an infant have to do with Valentines Day?



Mythological painting of “Diana and Cupid”

Leona Ashley , Contributor

The 45th day of each year is a day filled with shades of pink and red, chocolates, flowers of different fragrance – and an unexpected enchanted baby boy that flies around and shoots people with his infectious arrows.

This baby is widely known as the Cupid. Despite his infant form, he is one of the most renowned Greek gods and many aren’t aware of that. So, why would an infant hold so much privilege? Let’s take a dive into his history. 

The original Cupid was more a heartthrob than a cherub. Back in 700 BC, he was a character named Eros. Eros was the mischievous god of love, and Aphrodite was his mother. He would light the dull hearts of humans and gods with his bow and arrows or a flaming torch. Though he was often portrayed as disobedient, he was always loyal to Aphrodite. People were intimidated by this powerful, controlling man that could make anyone fall in love in an instant, with him and his charm, or others. 

When the Roman era began, the Romans believed that Greek culture was too sophisticated. When they conscripted Eros mythology, they decided to incinerate his image into a cherub. They named him “Cupid”, which is a synonym for “Eros” which translates to “desire”.

Baby Cupid
Cupid Statue (Unknown)

Valentine’s Day started gaining popularity in the 18th century and by the 19th century, Cupid became constantly incorporated into the holiday due to his enchanted love-creating abilities. 

Many can find it strange, or bewildering even though we find it perfectly normal now that a baby is so important in this extraordinary holiday that is celebrated annually. The Greeks and Romans left us with a partly malevolent and partly sweet Cupid that now serves an important and different purpose in modern culture.