Lupercalia

noun

Lu·​per·​ca·​lia ˌlü-pər-ˈkā-lē-ə How to pronounce Lupercalia (audio)
-ˈkāl-yə
: an ancient Roman festival celebrated February 15 to ensure fertility for the people, fields, and flocks
Lupercalian adjective

Examples of Lupercalia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The holiday may have been placed in mid-February to commemorate the death of St. Valentine, or as a way for Christian leaders to incorporate Lupercalia, a pagan fertility festival that was celebrated Feb. 15. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 13 Feb. 2024 While Mardi Gras is celebrated in areas where Catholicism is widely practiced, some theories say the holiday's roots may tie into pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, like Saturnalia and Lupercalia, according to history.com. Keisha Rowe, The Courier-Journal, 13 Feb. 2024 Here’s a poem for Valentine’s Day, incorporating the history of the day with its romantic lore: In ancient Rome, mid-February's day, Lupercalia's feast, where men would play. Erik Kain, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Lupercalia.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin, plural, from Lupercus, god of flocks

First Known Use

circa 1580, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Lupercalia was circa 1580

Dictionary Entries Near Lupercalia

Cite this Entry

“Lupercalia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Lupercalia. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

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