Whether you are single or in a committed loving relationship, it’s hard to not be aware of the holiday that the world celebrates every February 14. Who can miss the parade of flowers and the flood of cheesy cards in the stores right? Not to mention the heart shaped decorations that seems to be everywhere whenever this certain holiday comes around. New Year celebrations are being put down, replaced with heart eyes and sweet nothings.
But when did people begin to celebrate the day of heart?
It has been said that it is the ancient Romans who we have to thank for for starting the said celebration. Valentine’s day to most, but did you know that some know this day as St. Valentine’s Day? This is usually the day when lovers express their love for each other through giving of gifts, flowers, having a romantic dinner together, and ending the night together. Back in the olden days, this celebration was called “Lupercalia” and was all about the coming of spring and it also included fertility rites and pairing off women with men through the lottery.
However, as years passed by, it was Pope Galasius the first who replaced the meaning of the day to become St. Valentine’s Day It became a day which celebrated romantic love between two people.
A priest who was martyred in the year 270 CE by an emperor named Claudius II Gothicus. He was said to have befriended his jailer’s daughter and some even claim that he healed her from blindness. He sent her letters and signed them as “From your Valentine”. However there is also another legend that tells about a St. Valentine who secretly defied the emperor’s orders and secretly married couples off to spare the husband from going into war. There is no proof that they are the same or different persons. But it was because of these stories that this day has been associated with romantic love.
A more modern take on the day came at around the 1500s and until the 1700s, commercial cards began to be printed. Most cards would have a picture of Cupid, the Roman god of Love. Do you know why you often see birds when it’s Valentine’s day? Well, it is because avian mating season begins around mid-February. People would often give traditional gifts to each other such as flowers, chocolate, candy, and letters.
Nowadays, even if the holiday is still mostly associated with romantic love, I can confidently say that it is not only celebrated by couples but also by friends, who gift each other with appreciative letters and chocolates, and also with family members.
Now you know!
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?