Valentines Day: Its History and Celebrations


Celebrated on February 14 every year, Saint Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day is the traditional day on which lovers convey their love to each other by sending Valentine’s cards, generally even anonymously. The most typical function of Valentines Day nowadays is the mutual exchange of affection notes in the type of «valentines». Well-liked Valentine symbols of contemporary occasions embody the center-formed outline and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, mass produced greeting cards have largely changed handwritten notes. It’s believed that almost one billion Valentines Day cards are despatched annually worldwide, making it only the second largest card-sending vacation subsequent to Christmas. Girls are believed to buy approximately 85 p.c of all «valentines».

Stories of many Valentines

Opinions differ about who St Valentine was. Early martyrologies point out at the very least three St Valentines under the date of 14 February. One is a priest at Rome, another a Bishop of Interamna (now Terni in Italy) and the opposite lived and died in Africa. Many, nonetheless, are of the opinion that the primary two are the same person.

It’s, nevertheless, widely believed that Valentine’s Day has perhaps originated from the ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia. A festival was held on February 15 in honor of one in all their gods Lupercus, who was called upon by the Romans to ward off the threats of those fierce wolves that roamed the adjacent forests. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia, a love lottery was organized in which the names of Roman girls have been written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Every young man then drew a slip and the girl whose name he picked up was to be his sweetheart for the year.

The holiday subsequently grew to become Valentine’s Day after a priest named Valentine. At that time when Christianity was still a new religion, Valentine was a priest in Rome. The then Emperor Claudius II, had issued an order forbidding the Roman soldiers to marry or develop into engaged. The emperor believed that once they acquired married, his soldiers would need to keep residence rather than combat his wars. Valentine defied the Emperor’s decree and secretly married the young couples. He was lastly arrested, imprisoned, and beheaded on February 14, the eve of Lupercalia. Valentine was posthumously named a saint. As Christianity grew stronger in Rome, the monks moved the Lupercalia or spring holiday from February 15 to February 14, i.e., Valentine’s Day. Since then the holiday started honoring Saint Valentine instead of Lupercus.

«From your Valentine»

Based on another story, Valentine was one of many early Christians who was seized and dragged before the Prefect of Rome and jailed for helping some Christian martyrs. He cured the jailor’s daughter of blindness while in jail. When the emperor realized of this miracle he ordered the beheading of Valentine. Valentine is said to have despatched the jailor’s daughter a farewell message signed, «From your Valentine».

In 1969, as half of a larger effort to reduce the number of saint days of purely legendary origin, the Church removed St. Valentine’s Day as an official holiday from its calendar. At current, February 14 is dedicated only to Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius.

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