Cupid: Who is He? Origins of Modern Valentine’s Traditions

Cupid, Cupid: Who is He? Origins of Modern Valentine’s Traditions, The Travel Bug Bite

Have you ever wonder who Cupid really is? I sure have. And I refuse to go another Valentine’s Day without knowing why a baby wants to shoot me in the butt with a heart-shaped arrow. Hilariously enough, I have written about how snails are what cupid is based on, because they shoot love darts to reproduce. But I never dug much deeper when it came to cupid himself. Until today…

Who is Cupid?

Most of us picture cupid as a flying baby in a diaper with heart-shaped arrows. That is, unless you’ve seen Santa Clause 2 too many times like I have. Then you might be picturing this guy:

Anyway! He comes from Roman and Greek mythology. As always, there is a difference between the two mythologies…

Roman Mythology

In Roman mythology, Cupid means ‘to desire’ and it comes from the Latin word cupere. According to the ancient Romans, Cupid is the son of Venus, the Goddess of love.

Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, Cupid is known as Eros. Depending on some sources he is the son of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Others believe that he is a primordial god who came into the world asexually from an egg.

Eros has a pretty cool story inolving Psyche, this TED Talk video summarizes it with great visuals in just a few minutes:

Hilariously enough, in classical Greek and Roman art, Cupid or Eros is portrayed as a a slender, winged young boy. It was later artistic depictions that showed the god eating Souvlaki and getting increasingly chubbier that created todays image. Souvlaki is a popular Greek fast food consisting of small pieces of meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer.

Summary: Cupid

You can read more about the history of this unusual being here. However, you now know the basics from both the Roman and Greek mythologies! I also do find it hilarious how he is portrayed in the Santa Clause 2 and how he would love to shoot himself in the butt if he could. Follow The Travel Bug Bite to read more fun content and learn about holidays from all over the world!

Cupid, Cupid: Who is He? Origins of Modern Valentine’s Traditions, The Travel Bug Bite

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