Definition of Lupercalia in US English:


plural noun

  • usually treated as singular An ancient Roman festival of purification and fertility, held annually on February 15.

    • ‘The matched young couple stayed together for the festival of Lupercalia.’
    • ‘It is probable that the feast of Juno and festival of Lupercalia were replaced by a celebration in honour of one or both of the Valentines described above, or in honour of another Valentine whose deeds aren't known.’
    • ‘They held the sacred Ruminalis fig tree in respect and the nearby Lupercal cave was pointed out as the she-wolf's lair.’
    • ‘Like so many of our Christian feasts, St. Valentine's Day had a Roman / Pagan origin arising from the February celebrations known as Lupercalia, heralding the advent of spring.’
    • ‘One of the most revered of them, Valentinus, was beheaded on February the 14th 269 AD on Via Flaminia, outside Rome, the date corresponding to the pagan love festival, the Feast of Lupercalia.’
    • ‘Some believe that we celebrate Valentine's day to commemorate his death, while others believe that it was instituted by the Christian church in order to counter the pagan Lupercalia festival held on February 15.’
    • ‘Significantly, Boniface's most explicit attack on ‘real paganism’ concerns Rome and the celebration of the Lupercalia, about whose festivities for the new year Boniface had heard upsetting rumours.’
    • ‘However, the customs connected with the day also probably derive from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia, which took place every February 15.’
    • ‘The festival of Lupercal falls on this 15 day of February, and you must be rested for the races.’
    • ‘Take an ancient pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia.’
    • ‘Tonight's ritual is the Lupercalia, the Roman celebration of the wolf thought to be the ultimate origin of Valentine's Day.’
    • ‘Another idea is that the Christian church was trying to Christianize the pagan ceremonies of the Lupercalia festival.’
    • ‘Valentine's Day has its origins in the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia, an annual festival held on Feb.15 to help keep dangerous wolves away from townspeople and their crops.’
    • ‘Valentine was beheaded on February 14, on the eve of the Lupercalia festival.’
    • ‘Unsurprisingly, Godwin includes a snippet on St Valentine's day, which evolved out of the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia.’
    • ‘On 15 February 44 he played a prominent role in the incident of the Lupercalia, offering a diadem which Caesar refused.’
    • ‘With the loyalties of left-backs being questioned and torrid tales of tapping up being bandied around like roses and chocolates the Lupercalia weekend's festivities were somewhat overshadowed.’
    • ‘February 15 was the date of the Roman festival of Lupercalia - the Wolf - where young men held a lottery to decide which girl would be theirs.’
    • ‘Just as Caesar tries to manipulate Lupercalia by transforming a ritual election of a Carnival-king into a real coronation, Brutus tries to manipulate the Ides of March by transforming political murder into ritual sacrifice.’
    • ‘On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars.’


Latin, neuter plural of lupercalis ‘relating to Lupercus’, Roman equivalent of the Greek god Pan.