The History of Valentines
Written by Angelli Bishop
Edited by Allison Gerry
Valentine’s Day, although riddled with a dark origin has now become one of the most celebrated holidays all over the world. To understand the history of Valentine’s Day we must start from the very beginning, which was in a Roman Festival called Lupercalia.
To start off, Valentine’s Day was celebrated as a festival of fertility, in which the Christian Church chose the middle of February to Christianize the celebration. Although it is unknown how the holiday got its name, we do know that there were about three saints at the time all named Valentine. However, one of the saints stood out because he had been sentenced to death for holding wedding ceremonies which at the time, Emperor Claudius II had banned young, roman soldiers to be wedded due to his belief that marriage/love would make a soldier weak. It’s believed that Valentine was the first to write an actual “valentine’s” card to his love, where he was in prison just before his execution, signing the letter “Love, Valentine” just before his death.
At the end of the 5th century A.D however, Pope Gelasius had declared for February 14th a day for honoring “the soft hearted Valentine”. Around the 1300’s was when Valentine’s Day was really associated with love and romance, and not until around the 1700’s had britain started the tradition of giving and receiving gifts. After Britain had started the tradition, eventually the U.S had also joined in on the celebrations.
Now, in the modern society more than 35 million of heart shaped boxes of chocolates, and 220+ million roses are bought each year just for the holiday. This holiday can be very pricey, and on average Americans spend about 20 billion dollars on cards, chocolates, flowers, and jewelry.
Though this holiday has a vague history, we do know that a man named Valentine’s heroic and romantic action lead to the Valentine’s Day we celebrate today.
|Valentine’s Day being celebrated in the city of love|