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 one another by sending Valentine’s cards, sometimes even anonymously. The most typical feature of Valentines Day these days is the mutual change of love notes in the form of «valentines». Standard Valentine symbols of recent instances embody the center-shaped define and the determine of the winged Cupid. Since the nineteenth century, mass produced greeting cards have largely changed handwritten notes. It’s believed that just about one billion Valentines Day cards are despatched annually worldwide, making it only the second largest card-sending holiday subsequent to Christmas. Ladies are believed to buy approximately 85 % of all «valentines».

Tales 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, 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 first are the identical person.

It is, nonetheless, 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 considered 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 have been written on slips of paper and positioned into jars. Each younger man then drew a slip and the girl whose name he picked up was to be his sweetheart for the year.

The holiday subsequently became Valentine’s Day after a priest named Valentine. At that time when Christianity was still a new faith, 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 after they acquired married, his soldiers would need to keep dwelling reasonably than combat his wars. Valentine defied the Emperor’s decree and secretly married the younger 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 priests moved the Lupercalia or spring holiday from February 15 to February 14, i.e., Valentine’s Day. Since then the vacation began honoring Saint Valentine instead of Lupercus.

«From your Valentine»

In keeping with another story, Valentine was one of many 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 learned of this miracle he ordered the beheading of Valentine. Valentine is said to have sent the jailor’s daughter a farewell message signed, «From your Valentine».

In 1969, as part 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 holiday from its calendar. At present, February 14 is dedicated only to Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius.

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