Cupid has always played a role in the celebrations of love and lovers. He is known as a mischievous, chubby, and winged child, armed with bow and arrows. He would shoot darts of desire into the hearts of his victims, causing them to fall deeply in love.
In ancient Greece, he was known as "Eros," the young son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. To the Romans, he was "Cupid," the son of Mercury and Venus.
One legend tells the story of Cupid and the mortal maiden, Psyche. Venus was jealous of the beauty of Psyche, and ordered Cupid to punish the mortal. But instead, Cupid fell deeply in love with her. He took her as his wife, but as a mortal, she was forbidden to look at him.
Psyche was happy until her sisters convinced her to look at Cupid. Cupid punished her by departing. Their lovely castle and gardens vanished with him and Psyche found herself alone in an open field.
As she wandered around, trying to find her love, she came upon the temple of Venus. Wishing to destroy her, the goddess of love gave Psyche a series of tasks, each one harder and more dangerous than the last. For her last task, Psyche was given a little box and was told to take it to the underworld. She was told to get some of the beauty of Proserpine, the wife of Pluto, and put it in the box.
During her trip, she was given tips on avoiding the dangers of the realm of the dead. She was also warned not to open the box. Temptation overcame Psyche and she opened the box. But instead of finding beauty, she found deadly slumber.
Cupid found her lifeless body lying on the ground. He gathered the deadly sleep from her body and put it back in the box. Cupid forgave her, as did Venus. The gods, moved by Psyche's love for Cupid, made her a goddess.