From February 13th to 15th, the ancient Romans celebrated the Lupercalia festival in honor of the female wolf who nursed their founders – twin brothers Romulus and Remus. This festival was meant to ward off evil spirits and ensure fertility.
The ritual were directed by the Luperci, or “brothers of the wolf”. These priests would sacrifice two male goats and a dog and make thongs out of their skins.
After the sacrificial feast, women would line up for men to beat them. They believed this would bring fertility and ease the pain of childbirth. And then the men would draw the names of girls from a jar. The name they picked would be their sexual partner for the rest of the festival.
This popular festival was celebrated until 494 AD.