Lupercalia

A while back, years ago even, I was in a comic book character design competition and one of the challenges was to design a character based on the month you were born. I did a good amount of research into my birth month, February and wanted to do something different than the typical Valentine’s Day, President’s Day and Black History month themes associated with the month. I’m pretty vain, like most humans especially those of us in the west, so I was looking into significant historic events that occurred on the day of my birth, February 15. I was not content to  just share my birthday with Galileo, Chris Farley, Susan B. Anthony and Jane Seymour, or a bunch of people a few days apart from my birthday, like Abraham Lincoln(Feb. 12) and Michael Jordan(Feb. 17), I knew there had to be more.

For a long time I felt I ‘d gotten the short end of the stick having been born a day too late to be a Valentine’s day baby. But I hit the mother load when doing the research for the character I was designing. There was a fertility/mating festival held in Ancient Rome on February 15th, it was called Lupercalia and it was magnificent by all accounts. Prior to Caesar ‘s rule, February was the last month of the year. For a while it was just a nebulous span of time between December, the tenth month and March, the first month called Intercalaris. January and February were just a glob of time for a while, but January came to be named after the two-headed god Janus, and February, well February was named after a lamb skin whip used to select your mate for the spring season. This whip was called a Februa, and the ceremony of the Februa occurred on the 15th commemorating the She-Wolf, Lupa who nursed the twin fathers of Rome, Remus and Romulus when they were infants.

So for some reason and ancient celebration made me feel better about my day of birth, and although It’s not a day I celebrate, I figured I remind all of you, on my actual birthday all about it. You can use it as an excuse to buy valentines candy half off and say  it’s in honor of Lupercalia, the original holiday that celebrated love.

As for my character design I did wind up using a lot of cliches, he’s black for Black History Month, and has a Napoleon Complex because it’s the shortest month of the year, and wears purple because it;s the color of amethyst, the birthstone for February. Well , it’s not the most original design, but I had fun coming up with him, I learned something and hopefully  taught you something too.

Here’s the character below.

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Filed under Comics, history, life

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