Valentines Day: Its History and Celebrations


Celebrated on February 14 yearly, Saint Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day is the traditional day on which lovers convey their love to one another by sending Valentine’s cards, typically even anonymously. The most typical feature of Valentines Day today is the mutual trade of love notes within the form of «valentines». Common Valentine symbols of recent occasions include the heart-formed outline and the determine of the winged Cupid. Because the 19th century, mass produced greeting cards have largely replaced handwritten notes. It’s believed that nearly one billion Valentines Day cards are despatched every year worldwide, making it only the second largest card-sending vacation subsequent to Christmas. Women are believed to purchase approximately 85 percent of all «valentines».

Tales of many Valentines

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

It is, however, widely believed that Valentine’s Day has perhaps originated from the traditional Roman feast of Lupercalia. A festival was held on February 15 in honor of certainly one of their gods Lupercus, who was called upon by the Romans to ward off the threats of these 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 were written on slips of paper and positioned 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 turned 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 grow to be engaged. The emperor believed that once they got married, his soldiers would wish to stay dwelling somewhat than combat his wars. Valentine defied the Emperor’s decree and secretly married the young couples. He was finally 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 vacation 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»

In keeping with one other story, Valentine was one of the early Christians who was seized and dragged earlier than 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 discovered of this miracle he ordered the beheading of Valentine. Valentine is said to have sent the jailor’s daughter a farewell message signed, «Out of your Valentine».

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

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