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Valentine Day – A History!

Valentine Day

The day of love is just around the corner, with so many more awesome days! Yes, we are talking about Valentine’s week. A week of festivities when lovers express their deepest feelings and gratitude for each other with different gifts and surprises such as roses, handmade chocolate bouquet, normal chocolates, cakes, balloons, cards and so much more! 

Not a lot of people are aware of this but the holiday has a long and interesting history behind it and it is surrounded by many rumors. Along with different beliefs, the festival in different ways throughout the globe, making it so much more than just a day. So if you are also someone who enjoys interesting facts and find the festival intriguing then this article is for you, so read along and have fun!

History of the day:

The festival is popularly known as St. Valentine’s Day as the most popular story about the festival is of him. Although with same names many legends are associated;

  • The first one is the legend of the priest named Valentine who was executed by Emperor Claudius 2 Gothicus. It is said that the priest was arrested for preaching equality and love among people and while he was jailed he wrote a letter to the jailer’s daughter, whom he loved and undersigned the letter as “from your Valentine”. When the letter was found, he was, martyred in the open street with stones.
  • The next legend holds that the story is the same but it was not a priest but St. Valentine of Terni, A bishop, who supported humanity and love among all, irrespective of who and what they are.
  • The last legend is of a St. Valentine who was martyred by the Emperor for defying him. It is said that the saint was very kind and he secretly married the couple to stop the husbands from going to the war. (FYI- it is said that around 270 CE in Europe, single men had to go to war as married men had responsibilities of their wife and child). So, the priest was executed for helping people who loved each other and that is why the holiday is solely dedicated to lovers around the world. 

Expect for these stories, there is another legend that surrounds this holiday. Although it’s more of a conspiracy theory, hence it’s loaded with speculations and allegations. However, while we are on the topic, we wouldn’t want to keep any information from you, so here it is:

  • So the theory is that the origin of this particular festival is actually related to the Roman festival Lupercalia, a festival that got its name from Latin in which Luper means Wolf. Now the said festival is not directly related to Valentine’s Day but they do share certain similarities, the first being the date. Lupercalia was also observed somewhere in Mid-February. It was a festival to celebrate women’s fertility and to welcome spring. The festivities start with sacrificing a goat and a dog, and their skin was used in some ways, believing that the skin can make women fertile. Another disturbing part of the festival was the pairing of women with single men on a lottery basis. Moving forwards, it is said that in 494 CE, the Christan Pope Gelasius I forbade the practice. It is said that the pope himself replace the festival of Lupercalia with Valentine’s Day to get rid of the disturbing practices and to make it more humanitarian in nature. But historians hold that the true origin of the festival can be traced back to a much later time, making the above-stated claim less believable.

Valentine’s is one of the most beautiful festivals, and with such scandalizing history, it also happens to be one of the most interesting ones. No matter what was the reason behind the origin of this holiday, the reality is this day is important for love birds around the globe. It gave us a day to celebrate the most beautiful human emotion- love! The entire week is there to just give you an opportunity to celebrate your love in different ways and to give you a chance to express how you truly feel and how grateful you are to have that one special person in your life. 

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